AirGenerate A7 AirTap Water Heater Retrofit Heat Pump Review

The AirGenerate A7 AirTap Heat Pump is a retrofit heat pump that will fit any existing gas or electric tank type water heater from 30 to 80 gallons in size. Heat Pumps are actually only moving heat from one area to another not generating heat so they are highly efficient. The heat is moved using a refrigeration process that is running in reverse pulling heat out of the ambient air in the room where it is located and pumping the heat into the water heater where it is dispersed heating the water. The AirGenerate A7 AirTap Heat Pump draws only 720 Watts of power while it is running compared to 4500 Watts used by most common electric water heater elements. This wattage use by the A7 AirTap is approximately 1/6th of the power used by the conventional water heater element.  The AirGenerate A7 AirTap has a MSRP of $699.

Energy Star estimates that a heat pump water heater could save a 2.6 person household $290 per year on their water heating costs. This savings could be almost ½ of your water heating costs for the year. Actual performance of the heat pump is dependant on the ambient heat where it is installed. Using the heat pump in the southern tier states where the temperatures are higher the heat pump will be more economical 90 – 100% of the year vs. 60 % in the center tier states and 50% in the northern tier states. The heat pump water heater also offers fringe benefits. Removing the heat from the ambient air translates to cooling and with the cooling comes dehumidification. While saving money on heating your water you will also save on cooling and dehumidification costs.

AirGenerate when they designed the A7 AirTap designed a direct transfer system where there are no pumps involved lowering running costs and increasing reliability. Using the A7 AirTap kit that comes with everything you need for the installation except the tools, which are a 14” pipe wrench, a 12” adjustable wrench, and a level. The installation is relatively easy and will only take about an hour. The A7 Air Tap was rolled out in January 2008 and by December 2008 over 1,000 A7 AirTap Heat Pumps had been installed in 45 states. The A7 AirTap operates on 120-Volt AC 60HZ power and uses 12 amps. to start and 6 amps. to run. Operating the A7 AirTap at an ambient temperature of 68 Degrees F. it has an energy factor of 2.11, with an output of 7,000 BTU’s, with a first hour recovery rate of 43 gallons, with a water temperature of 135 Degrees F. and a 10 degree differential and has a noise level of 50db. The A7 AirTap weighs 48 Lbs. and measures 18” X 14” X 13” high. The AirGenerate A7 AirTap comes with a 3 year Limited Warranty upon purchase. The 1st Year of the Warranty includes Parts and Labor, while the 2nd and 3rd Year Warranty is Parts only.

The AirGenerate A7 Heat Pump retrofit kit is an excellent choice for people that have recently had a gas or, electric water heater installed and would like to upgrade the system to higher efficiency. To install the A7 AirTap the water heater and associated pipes should be in good condition.

Comments

    • says

      Hi Willie,

      The AirTap connection is made through the 3/4″ outlet connection which the Marathon water heater has.
      The unusual shape of the tank may present mounting bracket problems.
      I would suggest contacting Air Generate to see what their engineering staff says.

      Redwood

  1. Forrest Silver says

    I purchased an Airtap A7, installing it on March 5th. 2010 in a 3000sf house. I am truly amazed at how well this unit produces inexpensive hot water. My electric bill has been reduced an average of $22 a month and we have never ran out of hot water. The unit is quiet and so far, very reliable. In the very near future, my wife and I will be moving into another home that has a limited space above the electric water heater. Can the Airtap A7 be positioned off the hot water tank? I also noticed in the instruction manual that the anode rod be exchanged every six months. Is this a critical service requirement?

    • says

      Hi Forrest,

      I do not believe that the lines that are inserted into the water heater are long enough that remote mounting is possible.
      The exposed tubes would also be quite hot between the Airtap A7 unit and the water heater.

      The anode rod in a water heater is a sacrificial metal that is consumed at it protects other metals from corrosion. The rate of consumption varies with water conditions and the amount of metal that the anode is protecting. Six months to me is an unusually frequent interval and I am not sure if the construction of the Airtap A7 unit uses ferrous metal in its components in the tank. An inspection of the anode to determine its rate of consumption should be considered. If the inspection reveals a consumed anode then replace it and you will determine the service interval that works in your conditions.
      You can read about how to change an anode rod in a water heater by clicking this link.

      Redwood.

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