Comparing AO Smith vs Navien Tankless Water Heater

By SmartHomeBit Staff •  Updated: 06/06/23 •  22 min read


A.O. Smith and Navien offer tankless water heaters that are popular among homeowners. A.O. Smith has been a trusted brand since 1874, known for reliability and energy efficiency. Navien is newer, offering cost-effectiveness and energy efficiency due to innovative technology.

A.O. Smith tankless water heaters work in extreme weather. Navien’s are compact, fitting into small spaces and using less energy. A.O. Smith’s come in a range of sizes to suit households.

Choose depending on needs and budget. Both brands offer high-quality, reliable and efficient heaters. Take your time to consider features and benefits before deciding.

Tankless Water Heater Brands

Tankless water heaters have become a popular choice in recent years due to their energy-efficient, cost-saving benefits. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at two of the top brands in the market: Navien and AO Smith. We’ll explore what sets these two brands apart and highlight the unique features and benefits of each. So, if you’re in the market for a new tankless water heater, keep reading to learn more about Navien and AO Smith.

Navien tankless water heaters

Navien tankless water heaters should definitely be on your list! They’re built with highly durable stainless steel heat exchangers, designed to last longer than others. Plus, Navien provides top-of-the-line warranty and customer service support.

What sets Navien apart? An exceptional energy efficiency rating. Its uniform energy factor (UEF) is higher than most other brands. Though their BTU rating may not be as high, the UEF makes them more environmentally friendly and sustainable. Plus, they’re more energy-efficient than AO Smith units.

Navien has a solid rep for providing quality and performance. Individuals who prioritize longevity, durability, energy-efficiency, and excellent customer service support can rest easy. Plus, with Navien’s stainless steel heat exchanger, rust won’t be a problem. Make a game-changing decision: choose Navien for your tankless water heater needs today!

Stainless steel heat exchanger

Stainless steel heat exchangers are essential components of tankless water heaters. They enable efficient heat exchange and help to avoid corrosion and build-up. Navien and AO Smith use stainless steel heat exchangers in their tankless water heaters.

Navien has a distinct design featuring dual stainless steel for maximum efficiency. Whereas, AO Smith has a traditional design. The table below compares Navien and AO Smith in terms of their heat exchangers.

Brand Heat Exchanger Design
Navien Dual stainless steel
AO Smith Traditional

Navien’s dual stainless steel design provides better efficiency and durability than the traditional design of AO Smith. Plus, Navien has one of the best guarantees and customer service systems in the market. It is a great choice for those who need dependability and assurance.

Longer lifespan and fewer problems

Tankless water heaters are a great choice for those wanting to save money and space. Compared to traditional heaters, they boast a long lifespan and fewer issues over time.

Navien is one of the top brands out there. They use a stainless steel heat exchanger which is resistant to corrosion, resulting in a longer life and less need for repairs or replacements. Also, Navien has the best warranty and customer service in the industry.

Durability and quality should be taken into account when selecting a tankless water heater brand. Navien’s exceptional design and use of stainless steel make it a top choice. Noritz is also worth considering for their unique features and dependable offerings.

The advantages of tankless water heaters go beyond lifespan and durability. Gas-fired models from 2012 have improved energy efficiency by up to 38% compared to conventional hot storage tanks. This means cost savings for homeowners.

When shopping for a tankless water heater, it’s important to consider all the features and benefits each brand offers. That way you’ll find the best fit for your specific needs.

Best warranty and customer service support

Navien tankless water heaters are renowned for their top-notch warranty and customer service support. Plus, their stainless steel heat exchangers are known for their longer lifespan and fewer repairs than other materials. So, you’re less likely to need to use your warranty. But if an issue arises, their customer service is ready to help you out! Navien provides the best warranty and customer service support of all tankless water heater brands.

Plus, Navien offers options galore! Gas-fired models, internal circulation pumps, commercial models, residential models – pick and choose what suits you best. Reliable and durable? You bet. Get the best quality product and experience the best in water heating technology with Navien.

AO Smith tankless water heaters

AO Smith tankless water heaters are a popular choice! Here’s why: they’re cheaper to buy and install than Navien. Plus, their BTU output is higher. But, their UEF rating is lower, meaning it may not be as energy-efficient over time.

Still, AO Smith has great warranties: 15-year heat exchanger and 5-years on parts. For maximum efficiency, try the Vertex units. They have an impressive 96% AFUE rating, which can save you on energy bills.

When choosing a tankless heater, you need to consider cost and energy efficiency. With AO Smith, you get a great balance between cost and power. Gas-fired models and units with internal circulation pumps – AO Smith has you covered!

Tankless Water Heater Options

Considering the pros and cons of water heaters, you may have recently become interested in a tankless water heater. This section discusses various options when it comes to tankless water heaters, including gas-fired models, internal circulation pumps, and whether to choose commercial or residential models, among others, to help guide you in making an informed decision.

Gas-fired models

Gas-fired tankless water heaters: Explore different manufacturers!

Vesta and Navien offer models with internal pumps. Noritz has high-quality commercial models. Residential non-pump models? Yes, from Noritz, Navien, Rinnai, Vesta, and Takagi.

Energy efficiency? Consider AO Smith vs Navien. AO Smith is cheaper, higher BTU, lower UEF. Navien? Higher energy-efficiency, lower BTU, higher UEF.

Location matters. Think outside design temperature, U-factor, climate requirements. Get to know mini-splits, radiant floor, and cove heaters. Make the right choice for your specific context.

Rinnai, Noritz, Bosch, Rheem, Takagi, Vesta, American, Navien, and AO Smith

Gas-fired tankless water heaters are popular. Famous brands like Rinnai, Noritz, Bosch, Rheem, Takagi, Vesta, American, Navien and AO Smith sell high-quality models. Since 2012, these brands have made excellent improvements. Noritz and Takagi have the best reputations. Need a top-tier brand like Rinnai or a cheaper option? Check out the models. Compare them to find the one that fits your needs and budget.

Improved quality since 2012

The tankless water heater industry has seen major advances since 2012, due to technology. Brands like AO Smith, Bosch, Navien, Noritz, Rheem, Rinnai, Takagi, Vesta, and American have all improved their gas-fired models. These models now have better designs and energy-saving features such as internal circulation pumps, giving you faster hot water and reducing wait times.

Noritz and Takagi have been known for their reliability and durability. Newer brands, like Vesta and Navien, provide high-quality models with unique features like internal recirculating pumps. Noritz provide strong models for commercial use, while Navien offer great customer service for their residential models. There are now many options when selecting a tankless water heater.

Picking between AO Smith and Navien is down to personal preference. AO Smith units are cheaper to get and install. However, Navien units have higher BTU capacity and are more energy-efficient, with better UEF ratings. Factors to consider include energy efficiency, heating power, location, and outdoor design temperature. This affects heater performance, with low U-factors in comparison to those suitable for radiant floor heaters or cove heaters.

Historical reliability and durability of Noritz and Takagi

Noritz and Takagi are renowned brands for tankless water heaters. They have a long history of manufacturing top-notch products that surpass those of their rivals.

When compared to other brands, Noritz and Takagi always come out on top in terms of reliability and longevity. The table below shows how these two brands have performed in the market:

Brand Reliability Durability
Noritz Consistently high Long-lasting products
Takagi Reputation for quality Low incidence of problems

It is clear that Noritz and Takagi boast great reliability and durability. Their high ratings make them trustworthy choices for consumers.

To conclude, Noritz and Takagi are well-known brands for tankless water heaters. Consumers can rely on them for reliable, long-lasting products. They are a sensible choice.

Internal circulation pumps

Tankless water heaters are a great choice for homeowners. They have internal circulation pumps, which make hot water available quickly. Vesta and Navien are the two leading brands, offering this feature. With Vesta, you can choose to have the pump inside or outside the unit. Navien has an internal recirculation pump that can be controlled remotely or with a timer.

These tanks with internal pumps are great for bigger homes. They are more efficient than storage tanks. They also help you save money on energy bills. However, you must maintain the filters and heat exchangers regularly. This helps prevent clogging and extends the life of the tankless system.

In short, if you need hot water on demand, a tankless water heater with an internal circulation pump is a great choice. Look into Vesta and Navien to enjoy the benefits of this modern heating technology.

Vesta and Navien

Vesta and Navien are both top brands for tankless water heaters. They both offer models with internal circulation pumps – great for larger homes that need hot water in multiple places.

Navien stands out with a stainless steel heat exchanger, longer life, fewer problems and a great warranty. Vesta only offers internal circulation pumps.

Both provide high-quality products without internal circulation pumps. Factors like location, climate, energy efficiency, heating power and design should be taken into account when deciding.

One client had to cope with low temperatures and selected Navien for their renovation. Professionals advised the choice as it’s known for energy efficiency and lower utility bills. The client was satisfied.

In the end, either Vesta or Navien is a great option for tankless water heaters, depending on the household needs.

Commercial vs. Residential Models

Checking the quality of residential and commercial tankless water heaters is essential. Popular brands like Noritz, Navien, Rinnai, Vesta, and Takagi are all renowned in both sectors.

See the table below for a comparison between residential and commercial models from different brands:

Brand Residential Commercial
Noritz Non-pump models are excellent Quality for long-term reliability & durability
Navien Non-pump style Quality / Pro-level performance
Rinnai Best price; smaller homes Limited service support
Vesta Compact design Not great for high demand situations
Takagi Affordable Highly efficient

It’s important to pick a tankless water heater that fits the purpose of the intended location. Noritz is great for non-pump models in a residential context. Meanwhile, commercial Noritz models are better for long-term reliability and durability.

Do your research to guarantee that the chosen brand and design meets your needs.

Quality commercial models by Noritz

In search of the highest-grade commercial tankless water heaters? Look no further than Noritz! They are renowned for their dependability and toughness. Specializing in delivering highly efficient water heating systems, Noritz helps businesses save on energy costs.

The unique aspect of Noritz is the features and quality they guarantee. Their commercial models feature internal circulation pumps for instant hot water to multiple outlets. Plus, these models are silent, perfect for sensitive environments like hotels and hospitals.

Noritz’s commercial tanks are made with high-grade stainless steel heat exchangers. This means they last a long time and require little maintenance. Moreover, Noritz provides excellent customer service and access to time-tested technology.

From reliability to efficiency to durability, Noritz is the perfect choice for commercial tankless water heaters. Their commitment to top-quality technology and customer support is unbeatable.

Excellent record for residential non-pump models by Noritz, Navien, Rinnai, Vesta, and Takagi

Residential non-pump models from Noritz, Navien, Rinnai, Vesta and Takagi are renowned for their quality and dependability. These brands offer exceptional tankless water heaters, perfect for residential use. They provide an uninterrupted hot water supply without any hassle.

Let’s look at the key features of each brand:

These tankless water heaters come in different sizes and boast improved quality since 2012, making them suitable for modern households. Residential non-pump models from Noritz, Navien, Rinnai, Vesta and Takagi are highly reliable and provide an effortless hot water supply.

AO Smith vs. Navien

Looking for a comprehensive comparison between AO Smith and Navien tankless water heaters? In this section, we’ll be taking a closer look at two crucial aspects of these popular water heating options – efficiency and heating power. With data-backed insights at hand, we’ll explore how these two tankless water heaters stack up against each other, helping you make an informed decision on which heating solution is the best fit for your home.

Efficiency and Heating Power

Choosing a tankless water heater is important for optimal efficiency and heating power. Compared to traditional storage units, tankless water heaters have higher efficiency ratings. Navien and AO Smith are the top brands in this segment.

AO Smith’s gas-fired tankless water heaters provide a high heating power output and lower energy costs. They are great for budget-conscious people with larger hot water demands. But, their UEF ratings are lower than Navien’s.

Navien is known as one of the most efficient tankless water heaters. Its condensing design recycles leftover heat from exhaust gases to preheat cold water. This results in more energy conservation and increased efficiency. Also, its UEF rating exceeds industry regulations. It is a bit pricier, but worth it.

AO Smith and Navien have different warranties and customer service support services. AO Smith has affordable pricing and quick installation due to its compact size. Navien has stainless steel exchangers that provide lasting durability.

When choosing between AO Smith and Navien, people should consider their energy efficiency needs, location, climate conditions, and U-factors. AO Smith is cheaper and stronger, but Navien is more energy-efficient and smarter. It is like choosing between a Ford and a Tesla for your water heater.

AO Smith units

AO Smith has gas-fired tankless water heaters that have higher BTU and lower Uniform Energy Factor (UEF) than Navien. Plus, they are cheaper. Also, they are easy to install, adding to cost savings.

Although AO Smith units can save up front, Navien’s units are more energy-efficient. These can lead to big utility bill savings in the long run.

So, it’s important to think about both the upfront and long-term costs when deciding between AO Smith and Navien. Don’t forget to weigh all the factors before choosing the best option for you.

Navien units

Navien units are an excellent choice for efficient heating solutions. They have a stainless steel heat exchanger for max performance and long lifespans. Plus, they have internal circulation pumps, suitable for residential and commercial purposes. Also, their UEF is higher than average.

Navien has fantastic warranties and customer service support. Plus, despite having lower BTUs, they still save money on energy bills over time.

If you want a reliable and cost-effective water heater, Navien is the way to go! Their energy efficiency makes them a great option for everyone. It’s like running on pure ingenuity!

Choosing a Tankless Water Heater

Looking to upgrade to a tankless water heater, but not sure which brand to choose? In this section, we’ll explore the key factors that could influence your decision. We’ll delve into the energy efficiency and heating power of AO Smith and Navien tankless water heaters, as well as location and climate considerations. Keep reading to discover which tankless water heater is the right fit for your home.

Energy efficiency and heating power

Are you searching for a tankless water heater that offers great energy efficiency and powerful heating? You have a lot of options! Navien is a popular brand renowned for its stainless-steel heat exchangers which give it an extended life and superior efficiency. Plus, they provide excellent customer service and warranty support.

AO Smith has higher BTU but lower UEF and it’s usually cheaper to buy and install. Make sure you consider your particular heating needs when selecting a water heater. Location, outside design temperature, and U-factor must be considered.

When looking for a tankless water heater, pick one that meets your needs while balancing energy efficiency and heating power. Take into account the climate conditions and heating needs before making a choice. The correct water heater can help reduce your energy costs and give you long-term comfort.

Location and climate considerations

Tankless water heaters must be located with climate in mind. Outdoor design temp and U-factor must be taken into account. This helps the unit provide hot water in extreme weather. It’s important to choose the right type: mini-split for mild climates, radiant floor heaters for cold areas, and cove heaters for large/high ceilings. Get help from an experienced pro for best decision.

Outside design temp and U-factor

For optimal tankless water heater performance, consider the outside design temperature and U-factor. The outside design temperature decides if the unit can manage cold weather, while the U-factor determines the heating power.

To compare different brands, make a table with brand names, their model numbers, U-factor, and minimum outside design temperature. Then, pick a model that works with the area’s climate conditions.

Location and climate are key factors to consider when selecting a tankless water heater. Check for low temperatures and pick a model with a compatible minimum operating temperature. For example, Vesta suggests using internal circulation pumps in colder climates with extended pipe runs to keep hot water temperatures optimal.

It is essential to think about site-specific details when selecting a tankless water heater, so it meets the consumer’s needs even in cold months. Understanding outside design temperature and U-factor helps consumers make an informed decision.

Mini-split vs. radiant floor vs. cove heaters

Heat your home efficiently with one of three options: mini-split systems, radiant floors, or cove heaters. Compare them based on features in the table below.

Features Mini-split Radiant Floor Cove Heaters
Efficiency High Moderate-High Low
Installation Cost High High Low-Moderate
Comfort Level High High Moderate-Low
Maintenance Cost Low Low Minimal

Mini-splits have a small outdoor unit connected to indoor wall-mounted units that distribute air. Radiant floors have tubes installed under the floor. Cove heaters use electric resistance.

Take into account factors like size, insulation, climate and application when choosing. Consider all costs, maintenance, and comfort levels when deciding.

Forget cold showers and boiler breakdowns: get the definitive guide to tankless water heaters.


AO Smith and Navien are two famous choices for tankless water heaters. Each brand has its own pros and cons. It’s up to you to decide which one fits your needs.

Navien has advanced features, like recirculation pumps, built-in Wi-Fi, and smart controls. These let you adjust temperature and usage patterns easily.

On the other hand, AO Smith is a more traditional design with fewer extra features.

Compare both models before deciding which one is best. Consider your household size and hot water needs. Both brands offer reliable and efficient products. One may be the better fit for you.

FAQs about Ao Smith Vs Navien Tankless Water Heater

What makes Navien tankless water heaters stand out among other manufacturers tankless water heaters?

Navien tankless water heaters have a stainless steel heat exchanger, which is more durable than copper used by other brands. They also have a longer lifespan and fewer problems in the field, according to Austin and San Antonio plumbers. Navien offers the best warranty in its class and provides excellent customer service support for any issues that may arise.

Which manufacturers produce excellent gas-fired tankless water heaters for the US?

The following manufacturers produce excellent gas-fired tankless water heaters for the US: Rinnai, Noritz, Bosch, Rheem, Takagi, Vesta, American, Navien, and AO Smith. Most manufacturers have improved the quality of their units since 2012, offering a wide variety of models and brands to choose from.

What are the differences between AO Smith and Navien tankless water heaters?

AO Smith units are cheaper to purchase and install and can deliver hotter water faster than Navien units. Navien water heaters are more energy-efficient than AO Smith units, with a higher Uniform Energy Factor (UEF) of 0.96 compared to AO Smith’s UEF of 0.92. However, Navien’s efficiency comes at the cost of its heating power, which is lower than AO Smith’s. The heating power of a water heater is measured in British thermal units (BTU), and AO Smith units have a higher BTU than Navien units. When choosing a water heater, energy efficiency and heating power are two of the most important factors to consider.

Do plumbers like Navien Navien tankless water heaters?

Yes, according to Austin and San Antonio plumbers, Navien water heaters have fewer problems in the field and are more durable than copper used by other brands. Plumbers and contractors often only offer one water heater option, usually a brand they are familiar with.

What is the average load of a thermal mass slab?

The average load of a thermal mass slab depends on the size of the room and the desired temperature. Plumbers recommend using a mini-split system to heat the room as it would cost three times less to run than a radiant floor. Alternatively, 1000-1500 watts of radiant cove heaters mounted at the crown-molding level would cost less than $500 and wouldn’t use any power until/unless the place was occupied. The cove heater approach works by radiating heat at the humans and objects rather than convecting the heat to the air first.

Is an electric hot water heater a good option to heat a home in Plattsburgh 12901?

No, an electric hot water heater element on a cheap electric hot water heater delivers ~15,000 BTU/hr, which is more than 3x oversized for the 99% design load. Plumbers recommend getting a MSZ-FH09NA or AOU-9RLS2 unit that can deliver over 8000 BTU/R @ -15F and uses only about 1/3 the amount of electricity of an electric boiler or hot water heater. The turnkey professionally installed cost would run about $3500 for either of those. Installing the outdoor unit in the breezeway or bracket mounted on the wall under the rake of the roof is highly recommended.

SmartHomeBit Staff