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April 24, 2024

EcoPlus vs. AmbiHeat: A Comparison

This article aims to explain the differences between two types of green energy heat pump hot water systems: EcoPlus and AmbiHeat. Both systems, Ecoplus and Ambiheat, offer energy efficiency but with distinct advantages.

Environmental Impact

EcoPlus and AmbiHeat represent different approaches to eco-friendly water heating.

The Rheem EcoPlus uses CO2 as a refrigerant, it is also known as R744, it is a natural gas found in the atmosphere and has a global warming potential (GWP) of 1, which is much lower than traditional refrigerants. CO2 undergoes a phase change from liquid to gas, absorbing heat in the process. This absorbed heat is transferred to water through a heat exchanger. R744 systems typically require higher operating pressures than those using traditional refrigerants. While this can lead to enhanced performance at lower ambient temperatures, it also increases system complexity hence making the system more expensive.

WhileCO2 is not directly harmful to nature in the same way CFCs and HCFCs are, it isa greenhouse gas. This means that it traps heat in the atmosphere, contributing to global warming and climate change.

AmbiHeat uses R134a refrigerant which has Ozone depletion potential (ODP) of zero, meaning it does not contribute to the depletion of the ozone layer. R134a systems operate at much lower pressures compared to R744 hence the systems are generally simpler and reduce the need for heavy-duty components making the units less expensive than CO2. R134a has been used extensively in various other applications making it easier to maintain and service systems. R134a has a higher global warming potential (GWP) but still offers significant energy savings making it a more sustainable option for many applications

It's important to note that the field of refrigerants is constantly evolving, with new low-GWP options emerging and regulations changing. The best approach is to stay informed about the latest advancements and choose the most environmentally responsible solution for your specific needs.

How the Refrigerant Choice Affects the Environment:

Choosing between these systems matters a lot when it comes to the refrigerants they use.

EcoPlus - CO2:

The RheemEcoPlus uses CO2, a refrigerant known for its minimal global warming potential and exceptional performance in low ambient conditions.


- EcoPlus consists of a Heat Pump module and a 300-litre tank.

- The tank and the Heat pump module can be installed 15 meters apart providing versatility to the installation. It's best within a limited distance and bends, being more efficient when closer together,

- It can be programmed to save energy by turning off when not needed.

- It's quieter than AmbiHeat.

-Doesn’t need a back up element

AmbiHeat - R134a:

Ambiheat usesR134a which is energy-efficient refrigerant that does not deplete the ozone layer. Although it has a higher global warming potential, it offers it provides superior efficiency at a cost-effective price point.


- Bright interactive and user-friendly touch screen with status display

- Integrated model offering single installation

- Programmable controller with standard, Vacation, and emergency heating/boost modes

- Industry-leading COP, making Ambiheat an highly efficient heavy-duty heat pump water heater to help reduce energy consumption.Even at a low 7˚C ambient condition delivers a COP of 3.6 with a heating capacity of 2.8kW, thus reducing the usage of the backup element

-Advanced wrap-around micro channel heating technology for uniform and faster water heating with up to 2.4 x times more surface area coverage compared to coil

-High grade Vitreous enamel suited for NZ local water conditions reducing the risk of corrosion and water leakage. Suitable for harsh water conditions

-High recovery rate, when the air temperature is19°C, the Heat Pump can heat 77 litres of water from 15°C to 60°C in one hour(45°C rise)

-Durable ABS and ASA top cover to withstand NZ weather conditions


End of Life Consideration:

For R134a specialised technicians (fridges)recover the refrigerant from the system which is recycled for reuse in otherapplications.


Both systems, Ecoplus and Ambiheat, offer energy efficiency but with distinct advantages. Ecoplus, known for its minimal global warming potential, performs exceptionally well in low-temperature conditions. On the other hand, Ambiheat provides significant energy savings at a more affordable cost. The optimal choice ultimately depends on your individual needs and priorities. Factors such as budget and regional climate should be considered before making a decision.

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