Hot water heat pumps are rapidly growing in popularity as more and more Australians are turning to more environmentally friendly ways to run their homes and businesses. With the idea of saving money on the costs to heat a building’s water, many people are turning to Sanden Heat Pumps to get the job done.
Whereas Sanden is certainly not a “household brand name,” those shopping for a heat pump in Australia may already be familiar with this reputable company.
As it happens, most people first hear of Sanden for:
- Their World Famous “Sanden Forest” Zero Net Waste Headquarters
- Decades of Global CO2 System Distribution
- And Introducing New Environmentally Friendly Technologies to Foreign Markets
If you are looking for a high quality hot water system from one of the largest and most environmentally friendly manufacturers in the world, then you may want to consider purchasing a Sanden Heat Pump.
Sanden manufactures and distributes some of the most reliable heat pumps around the world, that operate efficiently at low noise levels for the optimal customer experience. The company makes it extremely easy to choose the right hot water heat pump, as they only have one product line that has been tested and approved for each of the markets in which it is available.
Worldwide, all of Sanden’s heat pumps come with some of the industry’s leading warranties. When something goes wrong with one of their systems, the company’s customer service is extremely reputable for helping identify and solve any issue with their products.
For Australian homeowners trying to save money on their hot water costs, a Sanden system is one of the most environmentally friendly ways to do so. Although there may be cheaper options available, Sanden’s superior heat pumps are well worth the price, as they are designed to efficiently lower the cost to heat the water in a home or business.
So is Sanden the best heat pump for your situation?
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Sanden – Company Background
Based in Japan, Sanden is a multinational company with operations in Europe, Australia, and the United States of America. With over 50 years of global experience, Sanden is one of the world’s leading manufacturers and distributors of HVAC components and CO2 heat pump water heaters.
On their website, Sanden makes it clear that they are a company that strives to create environmentally friendly products to efficiently serve their customers without any unnecessary harm to the earth. In fact, the company was the first to debut an eco-friendly CO2-refrigerant split-type heat pump water in North America.
As they have “partnered with nature,” Sanden’s headquarters are actually based in a tree-covered, award-winning facility at the base of Mount Akagi, Japan. Whereas most manufacturing plants can be found in desolate, developed areas, Sanden’s Akagi plant (also known as the Sanden Forest) is surrounded by plants, ponds, and wild animals.
As a true innovator, Sanden minimizes their impact on the environment by having the following features as a part of their company headquarters:
- Renewable resources used for heating, cooling, and lighting, which are set on a computer controlled, energy conserving platform
- Zero net waste from recycling, composting, and sustainable waste reduction efforts
- Ongoing community support for clean air, clean water, and wildlife restoration
As we mentioned, Sanden is an international company. They manufacture different components for heat pumps, vending machines, and other HVAC applications within their headquarters in Japan. On the Australian Market, the New South Wales based branch of the company only distributes one main product: the Sanden Eco® Plus Hot Water Heat Pump System.
Eco2 Systems SANCO2 Heat Pump Water Heaters (Residential)
For homes of all shapes and sizes, Eco2 Systems SANCO2 Heat Pump Water Heaters are top of the line units built to perform in every Australian climate. In order to get the most detailed information on every single feature, variant, and expected performance level from a Sanden Eco2 Heat Pump Water Heat, feel free to visit the company’s website and download the product brochure.
At a high level however, here is an overview of the incredible features:
Whisper Level Quiet Operating Noise – To start, the rated noise level of Eco2 Systems is among the lowest in the industry. At just 37dB, these devices are slightly louder than the average whisper while remaining more quiet than most libraries. For homeowners, the units are rarely heard unless residents are standing directly next to the compressor.
Industry Leading Energy Efficiency – Sanden Heat Pumps boats an incredible 5.96 coefficient of performance. Not only are they designed to reduce utility use and cost by 80%, but they are also over 50% more efficient than many other heat pumps.
Variety of Available Sizes – To comply with different household sizes and water usage habits, Sanden manufactures four different sizes of hot water storage tanks. Beyond this, the split system design makes it easy for a Sanden Heat Pump system to conform and be installed on most Australian properties.
High Quality Components – Both the stainless steel water tank and weather resistant heat pump of a Sanden system are built to last. Whereas it may cost a little bit extra upfront, Sanden’s high quality components ensure that their systems can be used for long periods of time even after warranties may have expired.
Large Range of Operating Temperatures – The Sanden Eco2 Heat Pump is designed to work well in all Australian climates. In fact, the system completely maintains operating efficiency from negative 10 degrees all the way to 43 degrees Celsius. Of course, if you live in an area that is prone to frequent days and nights out of this range, an electric booster can be added.
Accounts In the Wild
Since Sanden has been producing heat pumps for a number of years, there are plenty of new and existing customers that have used their products. With this in mind, there are a ton of great real customer experiences that have been shared online.
We spent some time sorting through all of the customer reviews for Sanden Heat Pumps, so that you don’t have to. Whereas nobody’s perfect, compared to other company’s offerings, Sanden is in pretty good standing.
Below, we’ve handpicked a few real customer experiences to showcase what it is like to purchase and use a Sanden heat pump system.
To start, this review from the user “predrag” in South East Queensland pretty much says it all. This customer has rated his experience with a Sanden system with 5 stars, noting its low operating noise and highly efficient heat transfer.
Beyond that, predrag informs the public that their system was not cheap. In fact, it cost over $5,000. Of course, high quality items often come at a price, and this customer has expressed that Sanden’s premium systems are well worth shelling out a few extra dollars.
To be fair, not all of Sanden’s reviews are as positive as the first one. This next review from “Chris” in Wide Bay-Burnett indicates that a Sanden heat pump may be costly to maintain and repair on top of its initial price tag. With 3 out of warranty fixes in 7 years, this customer ended up paying much more than expected for their hot water.
When it was running, however, Chris was satisfied with its performance. He noted that the system hardly used any power and maintained a very quiet operating noise. Even with that in mind, his return on investment was still ruined by high priced repairs.
Next, here is a different example of the sequence of events that may transpire if a Sanden heat pump system were to malfunction or break. In a review from “Kate D.”, a Sanden heat pump began to leak internally after 4 years of use. This caused damage to the unit’s computer system, necessitating total system replacement.
Here, the 4 year old heat pump was covered by Sanden’s warranty. The company received the alert from the customer and promptly replaced the heating unit. So although they may have been without hot water for a day or two, this customer was still overall very pleased with their Sanden heat pump experience.
Lastly, here is a review that is probably framed and hung up somewhere in the Sanden corporate office. “Wwright” has left a 5 year review for their Sanden heat pump that was installed 6 years prior. The customer now receives hot water at a fraction of their previous cost.
What is great about this review is that the customer clearly understands their system and that it was installed by a reputable company. With minimal attention and maintenance, this system owner was able to generate a large return on investment once or twice over with a Sanden heat pump.
Performance Notes–How does it stack up where it matters?
Okay, let’s get into it! Now, it is officially time to break down Sanden’s heat pumps and compare them to what else is on the market today. In doing so, we hope to help you decide whether or not a Sanden heat pump is best for your home.
Cost of Installation
First and foremost, the cost of installing a Sanden Heat Pump might scare off most customers. On average, Sanden’s products are going to cost more to install then lesser heat pump units.
What’s critical to understand here is that despite the high price tag, heat pump units are actually designed to pay for themselves through years of saving money on the cost of a home’s utilities. Whereas cheaper units can be expected to break within 5 years, Sanden’s systems are high quality, last longer, and therefore incur a higher cost to purchase.
Water Tank Size
The capacity of the water tank in a hot water heat pump system will determine how quickly the building can receive hot water as well as how long hot water will remain readily available. In most cases, this is estimated by the number of people living in the home.
Sanden does not fall short here, as the company provides 4 different residential water tank capacities for consumers to choose from. With the split unit design, Sanden actually offers some of the most flexible solutions for installing water tanks in tight residential spaces.
When it comes to energy efficiency, Sanden is king. Their unbeatable coefficient of performance (COP) of 5.96 implies that Sanden systems create nearly six times as much energy as they consume. As it turns out, decades of compression R&D and product launches have led Sanden to produce one of the most highly efficient (and cost-free) ways to heat a home’s water.
Quality of Materials
Beyond the technology inside Sanden heat pumps, the high quality of the materials used to create the components allow for the systems to be fully protected from the elements. Each water tank is made up of 316 Marine Grade stainless steel, that is built to last for decades. Beyond this, the compressor and heat transfer systems are completely encased with durable, weather resistant material.
At just 37 dB, Sanden heat pumps are among the most quiet on the market today. With whisper level operation both you and your neighbors will be happy you’ve chosen Sanden. Although many other brands boast low operating noise levels as a large selling point, few are as quiet as Sand heat pumps.
Based on their warranties, quality of materials and real customer experiences, it is safe to say that Sanden heat pumps have a great expected system lifespan. As the company focuses on producing high quality products, most hot water heat pump systems will last as long as 15 years before needing to be replaced.
Above all, Sanden heat pumps deliver a tremendous amount of value to a home and business owners. With top of the line components and a steady reputation for good performance, a Sanden heat pump is a good investment for reducing the cost of utilities in heating a building’s water supply.
It is true that Sanden systems tend to cost a bit more to purchase and install than other competing heat pumps. However, both the operating efficiency and low noise levels of these units make them tremendously valuable both financially and in terms of optimal day to day operation.
Backed by some of the industries leading warranties and support, Sanden has successfully entered the Australian market with highly valuable, eco-friendly products.
After installation, customers must register their Sanden hot water heat pump system on the company’s website. Once in place, system owners are guaranteed some of the industry’s best warranty periods. These include:
- 6 Years of Guaranteed Heat Pump Performance
- 15 Year Pro-Rata Tank Warranty (Including Parts and Labour)
Of course, there are a large number of conditions and restrictions that may not guarantee a warranty if the contract is voided. For more details about what constitutes a valid warranty claim feel free to visit Sanden’s support page for full warranty information.
When it comes to problems with their heat pumps, Sanden has a good reputation for timely fixes and replacement. However, many of the problems caused with their systems are actually due to poorly installed components from a local provider. In order to get the most out of a Sanden warranty, it is strongly recommended to use a provider listed on their installer locator page.
Frequently Asked Questions
Although we have covered nearly all there is to know about Sanden heat pumps, here are some quick answers for the most commonly asked questions about the company.
What is the noise level of the Sanden hot water heat pump?
The unit is rated at 37dB, which is almost silent. By comparison, a whisper is around 30dB and inside a library is approximately 40dB.
What are RECs and STCs and what are they worth?
The purchase and installation of a Sanden heat pump entitles you to Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) – formerly known as Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). This, in turn, can qualify you for federal and state level rebates.
How can I register my Sanden Eco Plus Hot Water Heat Pump for warranty?
For timely warranty claims and fully compensated fixes and replacements, new system owners can register Sanden Eco Plus Hot Water Heat Pumps on their website. Here is a link to the page, which has customers fill out a brief survey.
How does a Sanden hot water heat pump system work?
Hot water heat pumps are able to convert the ambient heat in the air outside of a home or business into usable heat. In a way, these systems work like a refrigerator, but in reverse. If interested in a little more of the science, check out our article on how a hot water heat pump system works.
Which Sanden hot water system size should I choose?
Sanden hot water heaters come in 4 different residential sizes. For single people, couples and smaller families the 160L and 250L sizes are recommended. In homes with four or more people, the 300L and 315L hot water tanks will better supply everyone with hot water.
Hot water tank size is also heavily influenced by a home’s appliances such as dishwashers, spas, and more. Homeowners who are unsure of which size to choose should talk to their local installer about the number of people living at home and their hot water usage habits.
Why does the Sanden heat pump use CO2 as a refrigerant? Isn’t CO2 a greenhouse gas and therefore harmful to the environment?
The system utilizes less than 1 kg of CO2 (R-744) as a refrigerant contained in a closed system at the factory.
CO2 has a Global Warming Potential (GWP) of 1. GWP is a measure of how much a given mass of greenhouse gas is estimated to contribute to global warming over time. It is a relative scale which compares the gas in question to that of the same mass of carbon dioxide (whose GWP is by convention equal to 1). A GWP is calculated over a specific time interval and this time interval must be stated whenever a GWP is quoted or else the value is meaningless.
Because of this, R744 offers many unique advantages versus all other refrigerants, most importantly:
- far less environmental impact than other commonly used refrigerants, should the system ever leak (No ozone layer depletion and only minimal global warming potential)
- offers much higher efficiency, thereby allowing more heat to be transferred to the water, for less energy used (ie. Excellent thermodynamic ability).
At the end of the day, Sanden Heat Pumps are high quality systems that can reliably heat the water of a home for many years. Although they can be expensive to purchase and install, Sanden’s highly efficient heat exchanging systems dramatically reduce the utility costs for daily living.
Want to explore your options? Feel free to check out our guide on the best heat pump hot water heaters for Australian homes.