Posted by Norman Fong, July 30th, 2012
Looking for a new water heater?
AO Smith makes the Vertex 100 water heater that is very efficient at 96% thermal efficiency. The 50-gallon Vertex delivers hot water output that exceeds a 75-gallon atmospheric gas water heater. The Vertex can deliver continuous hot water flow of over 4 gallons per minute. It has a LCD display allowing precise temperature control. The Vertex 100 has a dedicated loop for radiant hot water heating systems. Dimensions are similar to a standard 50-gallon power-vent water heater. 100,000 BTU input per hour. Jay Leno and Ed Begly Jr have these units.
Vertex 100 does requires PVC, CPVC or ABS pipe venting not traditional metal venting. It also requires a separate intake PVC airline. The unit requires AC power to run its fan. This fan makes this unit’s operation a bit noisy. It is probably best suited for a garage. Vertex 100 water heaters cost roughly $2000+ installed minus the Federal and any local utility rebate. Our local utility PG&E has a $50 rebate.
How does it compare to a ‘normal‘ energy saving water heater? AO Smith’s Conservationist series 50 Gallon model has an Energy Factor of 0.62. and 40,000 BTU input per hour. Approximately 80% efficient. It costs about $1300.