Hot water heat pump brands in Australia – which ones are good?

According to the Clean Energy Regulator, there are about 100 different brands of hot water heat pumps in Australia that are approved by the government to be eligible for rebates.  

We’ve gotten feedback from households and communities around Australia, spoken to plumbers and manufacturers, and trawled through internet forums and Facebook groups. 

We’ve considered not just feedback from households, but also from plumbers (who are the ones who have to show up and fix any problems). 

Ready to learn which ones are good?

This article is part of our series on hot water heat pumps. See all the other articles here.

Hot water heat pump brands in Australia 

In this chart below, we’ve listed brands we like and recommend as well as some of the cheaper brands you’re likely to come across. 

Overall we believe Aquatech, Apricus and Hydrotherm offer the best value for money while also having a good history of reliability. At the premium end Reclaim and Sanden are more expensive, but have the best performance and are whisper quiet.

Refrigerant

Brands like iStore, Enviroheat, Rheem, and Evoheat have pretty good reviews – the problem is they use R134A refrigerant. 

As we talked about earlier, R134A is a high global warming potential refrigerant and don’t perform as well in low temperatures. We recommend that you choose a brand that uses Propane or CO2 as a refrigerant instead of R134A. 

It’s worth mentioning that iStore has a new model coming out that uses Propane as a refrigerant. This is great news since iStore has been around for ages and has a great reputation. Time will tell how well this model performs.

Affordable brands 

As we talked about earlier, the more affordable brands tend to attract dodgy installers, so it’s really important you use the right installer.

Chromagen (Midea)

There are many reports of the unit breaking down and needing to be replaced. The installers who install this are also more likely to be rebate chasers.

This is probably the only brand that we would categorically recommend to stay away from. 

Ecogenica 

This product is also associated with many of the rebate-chasing behaviours we talked about earlier, but we also hear lots of reports from happy customers. 

This brand is relatively new and they seem to be iterating on their products to try to improve them. While the quality won’t be as high as more expensive brands, it’s possible that if properly installed, they may be able to last for a long time. However, there have been reports from plumbers of these units breaking down.

They’re affordable, so they could be a great deal if everything works out. We think that the jury is still out on this one.

Premium brands

Plumbers tend to like Sanden, Reclaim, and Thermann since they are more reliable. 

Interestingly, Sanden doesn’t have great reviews online. However, we’ve heard enough good things from Sanden customers that we feel confident recommending it. We’re guessing their marketing department needs to step up their game at collecting reviews.

Thermann doesn’t have good online reviews either, but this makes more sense to us because we really don’t think R134A refrigerant justifies the price point. 

Brand History

While some established brands like Rheem are probably recognisable, their history and experience tend to be in making gas appliances, which sometimes means they don’t make the best heat pumps or make them at a great price.

Some brands like Ecogenica are much newer, or in the case of Emerald, have only recently entered the heat pump space. They can be an attractive option due to their cost or smart features, but the trade-off is there has been less time to work out the kinks in their product and there isn’t a long track record to draw from. 

Country of manufacture

Most heat pumps in Australia are manufactured overseas in China. This isn’t an issue, provided the brand has a stable local presence and can be easily reached for warranty issues. 

In the case of the most expensive brands (Sanden, Reclaim, Thermann), the water tanks are made in Australia while the heat pump itself is made in Japan. 

If “Australia made” is very important to you, you could consider Rinnai. From what we can tell, they’re the only brand that manufactures the entire system including the heat pump in Australia.  

Warranty

The more expensive brands tend to have better warranties, but there isn’t a standard warranty format. 

The tank and the compressor will have separate warranties. The good warranties also include the labour cost associated with repairs, not just the parts

To give you a few examples:

  • Reclaim:
    • 6 years parts / 2 years labour on the heat pump
    • 10 years parts / 1 year labour for the glass lined water tank
    • 2 years parts / 2 years labour for the controller
  • Hydrotherm
    • Offers 6 years parts & labour on everything
  • Ecogenica
    • 7 Year warranty for the Tank / no labour covered
    • 5 Year warranty for the Compressor / no labour covered   

Remember though that the warranty is only as good as the company offering it.

Next steps

Want to understand what specific product is right for you? Read about how to choose a hot water heat pump.

Or if you want to know how much a hot water heat pump could cost for your house, get an instant cost, savings and rebates estimate.