What’s the difference?
The difference between electric, digital and storage heaters are in their levels of technology. Here we provide a condensed one-liner summary of each technology. You may click on each link for a more detailed description.
What are the Group A Technologies?
Group A technologies are basic durability technologies. They are the pre-requisites to build a heavy-duty, heating machine. Every A. O. Smith water heater is built on these technologies.
Blue Diamond tank: Blue Diamond is a patented glass formula which lines the inside of a water heater tank, protecting the steel from corrosive effects of hot water. This lining is what makes A. O. Smith tanks last for over 10 years.
Blue Diamond element: High efficiency patented elements are coated with anti-scale Blue Diamond glass, the same anti-corrosion material which is used to line your water heater tank. (you won’t find these at your local hardware store).
Low-disruption inlet: While most other water inlets are simply a metal tube, this specially designed water inlet provides a low-disruption inflow of cold water, so that end-users may get a stable stream of hot water.
High density insulation: A. O. Smith heaters have at least 2 inches of heavy weight foam insulation injected at the jacket. The foam expands and fills the entire cavity completely. This high density insulation makes them the heaviest water heaters in the market. A. O. Smith heaters retain more heat for longer. Less heat loss, less reheating = more money saved.
What are the Group B Technologies?
Group B Technologies are Digital technologies, activated through a digital control panel which comes with this range of heaters. For the first time, know how much hot water is inside your heater and control the way it heats.
Instant heating: Just back from a vacation and your heater has been off? Expect to wait 20 minutes for hot water if you are using an electric heater. However, if you have a digital heater, press a button and get hot water in 2 minutes.
Built-in timer: A timer is great for families who occasionally forget to power off their water heater before going out. Timers can program your heater to go on early in the morning before your morning shower and switch off automatically as you leave the house.
MAX heating: MAX heating technology allows a 40 lit water heater to perform like an 80 liter water heater. This is especially useful when you have guests staying over and you need more hot water than usual. This feature is also commonly used for those who have bathtubs at home but do not want to get such a large heater tank.
What are the Group C Technologies?
Group C technologies are advanced energy savers, some of which harness renewable energy sources to bring down your heating costs.
Heat pumps: Heat pump water heaters come with a mini compressor in the system. The compressor works like the reverse of an air-conditioner by absorbing free heat from the ambient air to heat up water in the internal heater tank. Heat pumps can save up to 80% of your heating bill and in climates like Asia, are more efficient than even solar water heaters.
Automatic timer (AES): The AES is a patented microchip in the heat pump system which memorizes your family’s bathing habits and preheats water according to their needs. With this chip, the heat pump is fully automated and users need to continually power on and off the heat pump like they would with a regular electric water heater.
Which heater to get?
If we had to give a single line description for each heater to help you make a decision, this would be it:
Electric storage: Economical, high durability
Digital: Versatile and good for families who go on vacations or for those who have visitors
Heat pump: Biggest energy saver, ideal for large or high usage families
For information on which heater size is good for your family, you may read Sizing Your Water Heater