Rheem vs AO Smith: Which One Produces Best Water Heater?

When it comes to water heaters, Rheem and AO Smith are amongst the most prominent names in the market. The competition between the two brands is absolutely insane. Both the brands have their own plus and minus points but the tough competition they give each other makes it hard to choose between them. To give you guys an easier answer for which among the two brands is the best, we have come up with a comprehensive comparison in this article. Read on to know more about AO Smith and Rheem. 


A company found in 1925 that has not disappointed its customers ever since. Rheem has been a one-stop solution for all HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning) equipment. Though Rheem sells many different products for refrigeration, ventilation, etc, their eco-friendly water heaters are the best known. Whatever the need is, Rheem provides eco-friendly and cost-effective products. 

They provide heating, ventilating, and air conditioning equipment for residential and commercial purposes. Products provided by Rheem come in all price ranges and are very affordable. Most of their products are highly efficient. The only thing is that they have poor customer service and struggle with the durability aspect. 

AO smith 

The company was first founded in the year 1874 but it took until 1939 to produce their first water heater. AO Smith is one of the most reliable and highly efficient providers of water heaters. You can get anything from water treatment solutions to water heaters from AO smith. They offer a wide range of products that are highly efficient and reliable. Constant upgrades are also done to the products in order to meet the present-day needs of customers.

Whichever type of water heater you’ll be purchasing, AO smith has got a model to fit your needs perfectly. Water heaters from AO smith have low running costs as well as a sustainable approach. But the problem comes with the warranties as AO smith doesn’t offer warranties for minor issues and the cost of installation will not be covered in the warranty. 

Energy Efficiency Comparison 

AO Smith 

When it comes to energy efficiency AO Smith is among the best providers of energy-efficient water heaters. It follows the EPA standards and makes use of Ultra-Low Nox or Low Nox burners in order to come up with energy-efficient water heaters. As far as energy efficiency is considered, LEED-certified products are the best, but we don’t have such a product in the current day market. 


Rheem uses UEF ratings for measuring its energy efficiency. The brand is ENERGY STAR certified for its energy efficiency. On a UEF rating scale, water heaters must be between 0.65 and 0.95, and water heaters from Rheem fall around the UEF rating of 0.80. 

Warranty Comparison 

AO Smith 

Warranties for AO smith water heaters can go from 6 to 10 years long. Tankless water heaters from AO Smith have warranties of up to 15 years whereas those for commercial purposes only get 1 to 3-year warranties. 


In general, warranties for Rheem water heaters fall between the 6 to 10-year coverage range. You can also extend your warranty for another 4 years and get a warranty of up to 12 years as a part of the 4-year extension plan. 

Exchange and Return Policy Comparison 

AO smith 

First of all, you need to make sure that the water heater you’ve purchased is returnable. You can return the product only if you manage to notify AO Smith before 30 days of purchasing the product. The product must be uninstalled and in its original package. You are the one that is supposed to pay all of the return charges so keep that in mind. AO Smith will take out the shipping costs and 10 percent of the complete sum of money. But, if the issue is on the company’s side, they will bear all of the shipping costs and other stuff. 


The return and refund policies for Rheem water heaters are similar to the ones of AO smith. 

Prices Comparison 

AO smith

Taking into consideration, the model, its efficiency, and the tank size, prices may vary for each water heater. The prices range from $400 to $3500


On the basis of the model and some other factors, the upfront costs of water heaters from Rheem differ. In comparison to its competitors, the pricing of Rheem is a bit less. Taking an average of most of the water heaters from Rheem, we can say the price to be around $400 to $2300


AO Smith is best for: 

If you want to get gas water heaters that are durable, highly energy-efficient, and easily replaceable, assemblable then AO Smith is a good option. 

Rheem is best for: 

If you are on the lookout for electric heaters that are affordable, highly techy, and have more accessories, Rheem is a good company to go for. 

About the author

Jane Foster is the Editor In Chief at Heat Home, which helps people to make good choices for investing in new appliances.

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