Rheem vs. AO Smith Water Heaters

Rheem and AO Smith are two of the most popular brands of water heaters throughout the United States. Both companies have an impressive line of products, so you can find a good model no matter the size of your household or business. Here’s some more information about how Rheem and AO Smith water heaters are different from each other; we’ve also included some warning signs that could indicate you need a new water heater.

The Companies

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Rheem was founded in 1925, and it offers tankless and standard water heaters. You can choose a gas, electric, or solar model. Residential and commercial options are available, and the Professional and Prestige lines contain a wide variety of quality water heaters.

AO Smith offers up to a 12-year warranty for some of its models. It was founded in 1921, and it has an extensive selection. Its water heaters are known for their high efficiency, and this brand offers a variety of solar, hybrid, and tankless models. AO Smith also has a range of water heaters that are exclusive to Lowe’s home improvement store.

Gas Water Heaters 

Natural gas and propane water heaters both have about the same efficiency, but natural gas is only available in some areas. Propane is more expensive, and you’ll need to bring your propane tanks to a gas station or grocery store to have them refilled. Natural gas is a utility that can go directly to homes and businesses.

If you choose propane, make sure you take precautions to avoid accidents. It’s heavier than the atmosphere, so propane leaks don’t dissipate as quickly as lighter natural-gas leaks would. Gas water heaters last for about nine to 12 years, and models with porcelain-lined tanks last longer than those with regular steel, stainless steel, or copper tanks. 

Rheem offers about 40 gas water heater models, and most of them can hold around 40 gallons of water. The Professional Prestige Powered Damper gas water heater lets you adjust your water temperature and control vacation settings with your smartphone. You can also monitor energy use and get alerts about any leaks. This water heater shuts off automatically if there’s a gas leak, and it can work as a space heater as well. It comes with a 12-year warranty.

AO Smith has more than 150 gas water heater models. Many come with convenient touch screens, and their warranties usually last for six to 10 years. 

Electric Water Heaters

Electric water heaters are similar to gas models. They just use a different heat source. Rheem offers about 20 electric water heaters, and some of their best options use 240 volts or 13 kilowatts. They usually have a warranty of about five years. AO Smith has about 30 water heater options, and some of their best models use 120 volts or 1600 watts. They typically have a six-year warranty. Electric water heaters can last for about 10 to 15 years. 

Tankless Water Heaters

Most water heaters have an insulated tank with a thermometer inside. When the water temperature drops below a certain level, the water heater starts working automatically.

Tankless water heaters, also called instantaneous or on-demand water heaters, are much smaller, and they only work when you need them. They use less energy than traditional storage water heaters, and they won’t ever run out of hot water. However, they can’t heat high volumes of water quickly. People with large families often get two tankless units. Tankless water heaters are more expensive, but they can last longer than traditional water heaters. The risk of leaks or corrosion is lower as well.

Rheem is well known for its tankless water heaters, and it has more than 35 models. AO Smith offers around 20 tankless water heaters, and both brands usually come with a 12-year warranty. With regular maintenance, a good tankless water heater can work well for around 20 years. 

Hybrid Water Heaters

Hybrid or heat-pump water heaters work like heat pumps for your HVAC system. They transfer heat from the surrounding air to the water in the tank, and they work best in warm climates. These units have air filters similar to the filter for your heating and air conditioning system, and you should change both types of filters regularly.

The Rheem ProTerra Hybrid Electric Water Heater can be up to four times as efficient as a conventional electric water heater. It comes with a water leak detection system and an automatic shut-off valve. You can use your smartphone to control this water heater’s settings, track your energy use, and make sure there’s enough hot water before you take a shower.   

AO Smith’s Voltex Hybrid Electric Heat Pump Water Heater has two heating elements to help you get hot water quickly during high-demand times. It has a convenient LCD display, and an accessory duct kit lets the unit get warm air and expel cool air from locations you choose for better comfort. Both models have a 10-year warranty.

Solar Water Heaters

Solar water heaters use heat from the sun to provide hot water. They can use solar panels or tubes with water or another liquid to absorb and transfer heat. People usually install them with a backup system like a gas or electric water heater. AO Smith doesn’t offer solar water heaters, but Rheem has several options. You can buy everything you need for a solar water heater, including solar collectors and heat exchange systems, or you can purchase a hot water storage tank that’s compatible with most existing solar systems.

Signs You Need a New Water Heater

There are typically plenty of signs to look out for when it comes to a plumbing failures. Discolored or smelly water or a rattling or rumbling sound could mean that your water heater is becoming corroded. The noise comes from pieces of rust or sediment hitting the inside of the tank. You could also see water or water damage like mold underneath or nearby your water heater. Running out of hot water sooner than normal or experiencing low water pressure could also indicate a problem with your water heater. If you notice any of these warning signs, you may need to decide which water heater is best for you quickly, before your current unit fails.

Contact the Experts at Dahme Mechanical Industries in Arlington Heights!

If your water heater is in need of repair or replacement, get in touch with the experts at Dahme Mechanical Industries Inc.! Serving Arlington Heights and the surrounding communities – including Palatine, Des Plaines, Schaumburg, and more – we have over 50 years of experience, and top notch customer service is our priority. And don’t forget about our 24-hour emergency plumbing & HVAC services! No matter the time of day, we’ll be there to take care of your emergency! Give us a call at (847) 396-9836 or contact us online.