Rheem Vs AO Smith Water Heater: Which one is the Best?

Last Updated on: 12th September 2023, 03:12 pm

Water heaters are essential for various household purposes, especially during chilly weather. Regarding water heaters, AO Smith and Rheem are well-known brands that manufacture high-quality products and offer a wide array of heaters, from gas or electric heaters to tankless or water heaters with tanks.

If you want to install a water heater in your home, you might wonder which brand is the best value for money. In this review, we’ll walk you through a detailed comparison between AO Smith water heater vs Rheem. This comparison will help you choose the best water heater that meets your hot water needs.

Table of Contents

AO Smith Vs Rheem Water Heater: A Detailed Comparison

Before getting into the comparison details of AO Smith water heater vs Rheem water heater, let’s briefly discuss the history and background of both these companies.

About Rheem

AO Smith water heater vs. Rheem

Rheem company was established in Richmond, California in 1925. At first, it started manufacturing packaging materials. But later in 1931, this company started producing water heaters when the John Wood Company bought it.

Now, Rheem is the leading water heater manufacturing company that produces high-quality different types of water heaters.

About AO Smith

AO Smith also has a long history of producing quality water heaters. It was established in 1874. The company manufactured bicycle parts, baby carriages, and glassed-lined brewery tanks before manufacturing water heaters in 1960.

AO Smith water heater vs. Rheem

Rheem and AO Smith have earned a reputation for manufacturing high-quality and reliable water heaters. Both these brands produce different types of water heaters, such as electric, gas, or tankless, giving their customers many options according to their needs.

Comparison Table: Ao Smith vs Rheem Water Heater

Rheem AO Smith
AO Smith brand offers high-quality water heaters for both residential and commercial purposes. Rheem specializes in manufacturing a wide variety of tankless water heaters,
This company provides water heaters mainly for household rather than commercial purposes. AO Smith is famous in the water heater industry due to its large range of gas water heaters.
AO Smith provides a longer product warranty, which is 6-12 years AO Smith provides a longer product warranty which is 6-12 years
Rheem specializes in manufacturing a wide variety of tankless water heaters AO Smith only produces limited models of tankless water heaters
Rheem water heaters are a little more expensive than AO Smith products. But the price depends on the type of model you’re buying AO Smith provides many budget-friendly water heater models

AO Smith Vs Rheem: Comparison Performance and Features

While looking to purchase a new water heater for your home, you should consider some features such as the water heater’s reliability, energy efficiency, affordability, warranty, safety features, and ease of use.

Let’s compare AO Smith vs Rheem, considering the above-mentioned features and aspects.

1. Reliability

AO Smith is well-reputed in manufacturing water heaters made from high-quality materials and components. This aspect gives their products increased longevity. Their reliability is proven by many customers who already have an AO Smith water heater and want to replace their old water heater with the same brand. AO Smith water heaters and their parts are accessible in the country’s major centers.

Rheem is also reliable for manufacturing durable and best-built quality products. Rather than using stainless steel for their water heater production, Rheem uses durable plastics that make their products lightweight and easy to install. Rheem’s units are readily available, and their spare parts are widely distributed nationwide.

2. Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is an important feature to consider when buying a water heater. An energy-efficient water heater can help you reduce energy costs in the long run.

While AO Smith is popular for manufacturing energy-efficient and energy-saving water heaters, Rheem water heaters are better for energy efficiency. Rheem has adopted innovative designs to develop highly energy-efficient products. They also produce hybrid water heaters that include various fuel types for increased efficiency.

Rheem water heaters are also Energy Star Certified which means that Rheem units meet energy efficiency guidelines set by EPA which is the US Environmental Protection Agency.

3. Affordability

Regarding price, Rheem water heaters are more costly than AO Smith. The reason is that Rheem water heaters provide advanced and innovative technology. They also offer many solar options for their customers.

AO Smith water heater vs. Rheem

On the other hand, AO Smith units are less expensive than Rheem models and they are readily available. AO Smith also offers a wide range of quality gas water heaters.

4. Installation and Customer Convenience

AO Smith has an edge over Rheem water heaters because AO Smith units are easy to install. They provide easy-to-understand instructions and guidelines on the installation. AO Smith also offers great customer convenience as the householders can easily install the unit independently without needing a professional.

5. Safety Features

Both AO Smith and Rheem water heaters provide many safety features. Many models of Rheem offer great safety features, but AO Smith units have more advanced and innovative safety options that are not present in other brands of water heaters.

AO Smith units have amazing safety options, such as an automatic shut-off valve and a low-water cut-off switch. Thus, regarding safety features, AO Smith clearly stands out.

AO Smith water heater vs. Rheem

6. Performance and Efficiency

AO Smith and Rheem both manufacture excellent quality water heaters. But if we talk about performance, then Rheem is the clear winner. Depending on the type or model of water heaters, Rheem units are more efficient and effective than those of AO Smith models. Also, Rheem models are Star Energy Certified and highly energy efficient.

However, it doesn’t mean that AO Smith is less effective. AO Smith company provides an array of models with different tank sizes and varying levels of efficiency to meet the household’s heating demands.

7. Warranty

Both AO Smith and Rheem offer warranties on their water heater products. Rheem provides a limited 6 to 8-year product warranty covering select parts and tank leakage.

On the other hand, AO Smith water heaters also offer a 6-12 year brand warranty that is longer than Rheem. The warranty covers tank leakage and other parts of the unit.  The brand warranty has the advantage in offering repair of the unit or some of its parts free of cost.

Which Brand Offers Best Electric Water Heaters?

Regarding electric water heaters, AO Smith stands out as it offers incredible features that are not present in many other models. These features include a dual copper heating element and a concealed heating element, allowing the water heater to heat water instantly.

Also, Rheem only offers 20 or more models of electric water heaters, whereas AO provides about 30 electric heater models, providing their customers a variety of options.

Which Brand of Gas Water Heaters is Best?

Regarding gas water heaters, AO is a clear winner because this company manufactures about 60 models of gas water heaters. On the other hand, Rheem only offers 40 different types of gas heater models.

Also, AO Smith is superior about gas heaters as they make use of natural gas and liquid propane in many of their gas heater models.

Which Company Offers the Best Tankless Water Heaters?

AO Smith water heater vs. Rheem

Rheem wins the race when we talk about the tankless water heaters. The reason is that Rheem has become a well-reputed company in the country for its tankless water heaters. It offers approximately 35 or more different tankless heater models.

On the other hand, AO Smith isn’t as noticeable as Rheem in tankless water heaters. It only manufactures 20 different models of tankless water heaters.

Rheem RTEX-24 Electric Tankless Water Heater

AO Smith water heater vs. Rheem

Rheem RTEX-24 is highly energy efficient and provides instant hot water for household needs. It has a user-friendly On/Off dial control and a programmable digital temperature display. Unlike other models, it provides a continuous hot water supply for the entire house.

With this tankless water heater model, you can save up to 50% on energy costs. Also, this unit has a compact design and saves a lot of storage space in your house.

Rheem Tankless water heater manuals can be found here.

RTEX-24 is highly efficient and delivers 5.9 gallons of hot water per minute (GPM). It features amazing Smart Energy Technology and only utilizes the power needed to heat the required water. This unit can be installed easily anywhere in your house and requires no venting.

Rheem Heating Chamber RTEX-13 Residential Tankless Water Heater

AO Smith water heater vs. Rheem

Rheem RTEX-13 is the popular residential tankless water heater that provides instant and continuous hot water and meets the home’s hot water demands. This unit is equipped with an adjustable digital thermostat and an LED display.

RTEX-13 features self-modulating power control and has two copper immersion heating elements that are efficient and durable. This unit is highly energy efficient and reduces your energy costs. RTEX-13 features external controls to regulate the temperature in increments of 1°F.

AO Smith 50 Gallon ProMax Gas Water Heater

AO Smith water heater vs. Rheem

AO Smith 50 Gallon ProMax is built to deliver ample amounts of continuous hot water for your whole family’s demands. This water heater has a Blue Diamond glass coating that protects from corrosion.

AO Smith 50 Gallon ProMax is equipped with a Dynaclean diffuser dip tube designed to decrease sediment and lime accumulation. This unit is energy-efficient and helps reduce your energy bills. AO Smith ProMax meets all guidelines set by NAECA (National Appliance Energy Conservation Act).

AO Smith 80 Gallon Voltex Hybrid Electric Water Heater

AO Smith water heater vs. Rheem

AO Smith Voltex Hybrid is a well-known water heater brand that can save up to 71% of energy costs. This unit features Heat Pump Technology, which means that instead of using heating elements, it produces heat through heat pump technology and offers immense savings.

If you’re interested in electric water heaters, read about the 5 Best 80-Gallon Electric Water Heaters.

AO Smith 80 Gallon Voltex Hybrid has amazing features such as an easy-to-use display, a heavy-duty anode to increase the lifespan of your water heater’s tank, and a vacation mode to reduce energy bills when you’re away from home. This water heater meets all Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) standards. You can read about other best.

Are AO Smith And Rheem The Same?

No, AO Smith and Rheem are not the same company.

AO Smith is a leading manufacturer of residential and commercial water heaters, boilers, and other products. The company was founded in 1874 and is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. AO Smith offers various products, including gas, electric, tankless water heaters, and solar water heating systems.

Conversely, Rheem is a global manufacturer of heating, cooling, and water heating products. The company was founded in 1925 and is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. Rheem offers various products, including gas, electric, and tankless water heaters, air conditioners, heat pumps, and furnaces.

While AO Smith and Rheem offer similar products, they are separate companies with unique histories, products, and customer bases.

Is Rheem Or AO Smith Better? Final Thoughts

We have seen that both Rheem and AO Smith water heaters have some advantages and downsides. Choosing a perfect water heater depends on your needs and preferences. It all comes down to what kind of water heater you’re looking for and how much you will spend on it.

If you’re looking for efficient tankless water heaters, go for Rheem products. However, when it comes to gas water heaters, you should choose AO Smith gas water heaters. Also, AO Smith offers a longer product warranty and is less expensive than Rheem water heaters.