Water Heater Basics

Types of Water Heaters



Benefits: More cost effective to purchase and install; Higher stored water capacity for “peak demand”; Installation synergies with existing units in home.

Limitations: No continuous flow of hot water; you may exceed capacity; Takes up more space than a tankless unit; Slightly less efficient than a tankless unit. learn more >>


(no storage)

Benefits: Higher operational efficiency than some tank water heaters; Endless hot water within limited demand; Usually requires less space than tank type heaters.

Limitations: Multiple hot water consuming devices create demands greater than supply; Product cost and installation costs are typically greater than most tank units; Operational efficiency adversely affected in cooler geographical regions. learn more >>



Benefits: Continuous hot water; Ability to utilize multiple hot water usage appliances simultaneously; Highest energy efficient water heater on the market.

Limitations: Product cost is higher than most tank units. learn more >>

Which Water Heater is Right for You?

Determine how you and your family typically use hot water to find the best type of water heater for your home. learn more >>

What Do I Need to Know?

Energy Savings

Discover how much money you can actually save on your energy bills each year. learn more >>

Space Savings

Learn about space considerations for your home before you purchase a water heater. learn more >>

Cost & Installation

Find out about the differences in installation costs. learn more >>

We live in a society of many choices and options, and how you heat your water is no exception. Depending on your hot water needs, you have several options readily available to fit any application imaginable. In today’s market, water heaters come in different shapes and sizes with numerous capabilities. Whether you are looking for a water heater that produces back-to-back showers for a large family or one that meets basic hot water demands, there’s one that is perfect for you.

When A. O. Smith first entered the water heater industry more than 70 years ago, tank type, or storage tank units were your only option. Today, improvements in technology have driven the evolution of more efficient tank type units as well as new options for homeowners. Water heaters now fall under three categories: tank type, tankless, and hybrid.

The goal of this web site is to explain those three categories, and help you decide which option is best for you. At A. O. Smith, we want to educate consumers on which water heater is best suited for their needs. Often times, we find that homeowners don’t take the opportunity to discuss the decision of a new water heater with their contractor or plumber. We urge you to become more involved in the selection process for your next water heater. We hope this site gives you the tools you need to make the right decision for your home and family.