Four families of residential water heaters are now available. The Effex™ high-efficiency gas water heater works by pushing air into the combustion chamber, creating a pressurized environment that allows hot gas to travel slower through the water heater. As a result, a higher percentage of the energy is transferred to the water and less is wasted. The Next Hybrid™ high-efficiency gas water heater blends tankless and traditional heating methods. This product performs like a tankless model but can also handle peak demand periods because of its small buffer tank. The footprint is similar to conventional models with standard water and gas connections. The Voltex™ hybrid electric water heater operates like an a/c unit in reverse, pulling heat from the surrounding air and transferring it to the tank. It installs similarly to conventional electric models with the addition of a condensate drain. The Cirrex™ solar thermal water heating system has solar thermal collectors, which provide up to 70 percent of the energy needed for water heating from the sun. They are available in 80- and 120-gallon models.
A.O. Smith Water Products Co., Ashland City, TN; www.hotwater.com/water-heaters/residential/