AO Smith Vs. Rheem Hybrid Heat Pump Water Heater!

By - Rajib Ahmed

Updated -

The world of water heaters has experienced a remarkable transformation as everyone has begun looking for more innovative and energy-efficient solutions to different needs.

Traditional water heaters are gradually giving way to hybrid heat pump systems saving energy and reducing carbon footprints. Some of the big guns in this market are AO Smith and Rheem.

Using a hybrid water heater from either brand ensures you reduce energy costs and minimize environmental impact thanks to the hybrid fuel sources.

There are several factors to consider when purchasing a modern, hybrid water heater. Some of these features, including efficiency, capacity, and reliability, are present in AO Smith and Rheem water heaters. The differences usually occur in terms of availability, unit range, and price. For example, where AO Smith heaters are more affordable, Rheem heaters are more available for purchase.

This article will explore these technologies, their features, performance, and benefits, equipping you with the knowledge you need when upgrading your water heating system.

Is AO Smith Better Than Rheem Hybrid Heat Pump Water Heater?

AO Smith Vs. Rheem Hybrid Heat Pump Water Heater

When choosing between AO Smith and Rheem for a hybrid heat pump water heater, we must closely examine various factors.

Both brands have set high standards through their high-quality products with innovative, advanced features.

Some survey results sampling the best hybrid heat pump water heaters alternate between models of each brand in their rankings.

Most of these models, especially newer models, guarantee a lifespan of at least ten years. Considering you would want to invest in an appliance that is reliable and efficient.

With these in mind, let us consider these brands discussing their strengths and shortcomings. This will help you in making your choice.

#1. Hybrid Water Heaters

Both Rheem and AO Smith are known for their standard heater models. Rheem takes it a step further in manufacturing air conditioning systems and furnaces.

They have a wide range of heaters for different capacities and fuel sources. This range ensures that there is always a heater to suit your choice and needs.

These water heaters are top brands well renowned for their reliability and efficiency. Their choice of fuel sources helps release fewer greenhouse gases, reducing your carbon footprint.

The Rheem Proterra Hybrid Electric Water Heater has valve guards programmed to detect water leakage and protect the heater from damage.

Below are some relevant features of these heaters:

#1. Efficiency

Both hybrid water heaters are highly energy efficient. They use advanced heat pump technologies, which extract the heat surrounding the heater and use it to perform the heating process.

Compared to traditional heaters that rely on electrical resistance, this efficiency helps to reduce energy consumption and utility bills.

Rheem and Smith water heaters have Energy Star certifications that help you gauge the efficiency of these heaters and other similar heaters.

This Energy Star certification reveals that Rheem produces its hybrid heaters following the guides and rules laid down by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy.

AO Smith has an additional option for natural gas and propane-powered models, increasing gas fuel versatility.

#2. Capacity & Operation Modes

Both water heater brands typically hold 40 – 80 gallons of water. Although, each model or unit is tailored to suit you and your household.

Aside from the efficiency, these heaters have about three different modes: Heat Pump, Electric mode, and Hybrid mode.

As the name implies, the Heat Pump utilizes only the pump to heat water, while the electric mode relies on electric resistance, and the hybrid switches between both modes automatically.

Another feature to note is the recovery rate for these heaters. The high recovery rate is especially vital in homes with high hot water demands.

These high rates guarantee a steady hot water supply during peak usage periods.

#3. Installation Considerations

Like all other appliances, if you want to make the most of these hybrid water heaters, you will need to conduct optimal installations with no room for errors.

These heaters also need a lot of space for proper ventilation. Therefore, installing these appliances in areas with a lot of air circulation is best.

You would also need to include a functional drainage system to dispose of the water accumulating in the heating process.

#4. Smart Features

Rheem hybrid water heaters have introduced innovative means for enhanced control and convenience. The Wi-Fi connection allows you to control the heater using a mobile app.

These smart features also provide alerts and diagnostic information making maintenance from troubleshooting easier.

One interesting, smart feature is that you can program your heater to be functional at certain times during the day.

This programming ensures that power is conserved while guaranteeing you have hot water when you need it.

On the other hand, AO Smith also has a leak watch and shield technologies and the iCOMM smart technology, which allows you to control your heater from your mobile phone.

#5. Longevity and Warranty

These water heaters have warranties covering the entire appliance or some vital parts for a specified period.

With both water heater brands, the warranty duration varies from place to place and from model to model. They can last from three to twelve years, depending on maintenance.

Eventually, it is best to visit the official website of Rheem and AO Smith or consult a technician or dealer to make necessary inquiries.

#2. Differences between AO Smith and Rheem Hybrid Water Heaters

The differences between these brands are highly marginal. Often, you can only notice these differences in models and units that are closest in design and capacity.

However, in general, the review shows that most people prefer Rheem to AO Smith for two main reasons, as seen below.

AO Smith has better customer experiences and usually sells with plumbing contractors acting as middlemen.

This factor means you are more likely to have professional help installing an AO Smith than a Rheem.

FeatureHybrid Heater
Energy EfficiencyRheem performs slightly better than AO Smith.
DistributionRheem heaters and parts are more widely distributed.
Customer ServiceAO Smith has better customer service.

Are Rheem Hybrid Heat Pump Water Heater Quieter Than AO Smith? 

According to a survey, the Rheem Performance Platinum is one of the quietest hybrid heaters on the market.

Compared to some alternatives, which run at about 51 decibels, this heater runs at 49 decibels. However, the AO Smith Voltex AL runs at about 45 decibels.

The noise a heat pump water heater generates also depends mainly on the size and capacity.  The higher the capacity, the higher the probability of increasing noise levels.

Are AO Smith Heat Pump Water Heaters More Expensive Than Rheem Hybrid? 

When comparing AO Smith and Rheem, the Rheem Performance Platinum continues to top the charts regarding purchase cost.

This heater costs about $1700 for the 40-gallon capacity and about the same price for the 50-gallon tank.

This price is about $130 lower than the AO Smith counterpart, the Signature Premier.

Are Rheem Hybrid Heat Pump Water Heaters More Energy Efficient Than AO Smith? 

Rheem and AO Smith are reputable and designed to be energy efficient.

For this reason, it is easier to definitively state which brand is more energy efficient with specific model comparisons.

When comparing energy efficiency, it is essential to consider factors such as Energy Factor (EF) rating.

This factor measures the overall efficiency of a water heater, with high ratings indicating greater energy efficiency.

It is important to note that the features and technology in each brand’s product can affect their performance.

To determine which brand and model is more energy efficient, it is best to find information on the specific heater you want to buy.

You can also look out for customer reviews and consult with professionals who can give valuable insights.

Which Is More Reliable: AO Smith Or Rheem Hybrid Heat Pump Water Heater?

The good thing about Rheem and AO Smith is that they offer reliable products.  Reliability depends on specific models, maintenance, and installation quality.

Proper installation and regular maintenance are significant in any water heater’s long-term reliability and performance.

One of the best ways to contribute to the overall reliability and longevity of the appliance is to follow the installation and maintenance guidelines correctly.

Ultimately, like with energy efficiency, when considering the reliability of a Rheem or AO Smith, the processes are similar.

Carrying out proper research on specific models, reading customer reviews, and consulting with professionals can go a long way in guaranteeing the reliability of your choice.

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