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

Last Updated on: 11th December 2023, 07:28 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

Market Overview

Regarding water heaters, the market is populated by several reputable brands. Besides Rheem and A.O. Smith, brands like Bradford White, Navien, and Rinnai are also notable players in the industry. Each brand has its unique strengths. For instance, Bradford White is known for its innovative features and high quality, whereas Navien and Rinnai are praised for their efficient tankless water heaters.

A.O. Smith and Rheem have carved a significant market share due to their long-standing reputation, diverse product range, and reliable customer service. This section aims to provide a glimpse of the market dynamics, aiding you in making an informed decision.

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

RheemAO 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 yearsAO Smith provides a longer product warranty which is 6-12 years
Rheem specializes in manufacturing a wide variety of tankless water heatersAO 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 buyingAO 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 abovementioned 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 with 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 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 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.

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.

The lifespan of water heaters from A.O. Smith and Rheem typically ranges from 10 to 15 years, depending on the model and maintenance.

8. Technological Advancements

When it comes to embracing technology, both A.O. Smith and Rheem have made significant strides. Rheem water heaters stand out for their smart technology features and solar options, which not only contribute to energy efficiency but also provide user convenience through remote monitoring and control.

A.O. Smith offers a wide selection of gas water heaters, with some models being Energy Star certified, showcasing the brand’s commitment to energy efficiency. These technological advancements play a crucial role in enhancing the performance and energy-saving capabilities of water heaters from both brands, ultimately benefiting the user in the long run.

9. Range of Models

A.O. Smith and Rheem offer a diverse range of water heater models catering to various needs. A.O. Smith provides a variety of gas, electric, and tankless water heaters, with additional options like hybrid electric water heaters.

Rheem also offers a broad spectrum of models in gas, electric, and tankless categories, with a notable range of solar water heaters. This wide array of models from both brands allows consumers to choose a water heater that best fits their requirements, be it in terms of energy efficiency, capacity, or budget.

10. Water Heating Speed and Temperature

Both A.O. Smith and Rheem water heaters are efficient in heating water to desired temperatures swiftly. However, the exact time it takes and the maximum temperature achievable may vary between different models.

It’s essential to check the specifications of each model to understand its heating capabilities better. This section can help potential buyers understand the performance they can expect concerning hot water availability.

Additional Features Comparison

  • Safety Features: A.O. Smith and Rheem prioritize safety, offering overheating protection, venting options, and pressure relief valves in their water heaters.
  • Installation Ease: Both brands provide comprehensive user manuals, with Rheem offering online installation guides. A.O. Smith stands out with its inclusion of installation kits in some models.
  • User-Friendly Controls: A.O. Smith and Rheem water heaters have intuitive control panels. Additionally, Rheem offers WiFi-enabled models that can be monitored and controlled via a mobile app, providing a modern, user-friendly experience.

Capacity Comparison

When choosing a water heater, capacity is a crucial factor to consider. Below is a comparison of the gallon capacities of notable models from A.O. Smith and Rheem:

BrandModelGallon Capacity
A.O. SmithENS-50 ProMax50 gallons
RheemPerformance Platinum50 gallons

Both A.O. Smith and Rheem offer a variety of models with different capacities to cater to the diverse needs of consumers. Whether you have a small or large household, you can find a model with a gallon capacity that suits your hot water needs.

Technical Specifications Comparison

Valve and Heat Exchanger

Both A.O. Smith and Rheem water heaters are equipped with high-quality valves and heat exchangers to ensure efficient heating and safety. A.O. Smith’s water heaters come with a durable tamper-resistant brass valve, which ensures a secure and leak-free operation. On the other hand, Rheem’s water heaters are equipped with innovative heat exchangers designed for optimal heat transfer and long-lasting performance.

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 with various 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 in gas heaters as they use natural gas and liquid propane in many 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 has 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.

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.

Customer Service and Support

When investing in a water heater, customer service and support are crucial for a hassle-free experience. Both A.O. Smith and Rheem offer commendable customer service. They provide comprehensive online resources, including installation guides, troubleshooting manuals, and FAQ sections on their websites.

Also, they have customer service hotlines for personalized assistance. Their nationwide network of certified technicians ensures prompt servicing and maintenance, keeping your water heater running efficiently.

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.

Consumer Experience and Heating Efficiency

Consumer experiences with A.O. Smith and Rheem generally highlight the reliable performance and variety of choices available. A.O. Smith is often praised for its energy-efficient models, while Rheem’s wide range of products and innovative heating technologies cater to different user needs.

Your choice between the two may hinge on personal preferences, whether you prioritize energy efficiency, faster heating, or a broader selection of models.

Choosing the Right Unit for Your Home

When selecting a water heater for your home, it’s crucial to consider the size of your house, the number of occupants, and your daily hot water usage. A.O. Smith and Rheem offer a variety of unit sizes to accommodate different residential needs.

For smaller homes or apartments, a tankless or low-capacity tank water heater may suffice. For larger homes with more occupants, a higher-capacity tank water heater might be necessary.

Explore the range of unit sizes and types offered by A.O. Smith and Rheem to find a water heater that efficiently meets your household’s hot water demands.

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.