For the last three years, A.O. Smith has been working with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the leading technology development firm TIAX LLC to accelerate innovation toward increased efficiency in residential water heaters. This strategic partnership has resulted in the development of the A.O. Smith Vertex-a groundbreaking residential gas water heater that combines higher gas input and more efficient combustion to deliver much more hot water while reducing operating costs.

The goal, A.O. Smith said, was to develop a heater that uses relatively low-cost available technologies to achieve higher efficiency with a modest cost premium. According to A.O. Smith, the Vertex's glass-lined helical coil heat exchanger made from low-carbon steel provides significant cost savings when compared to stainless steel heat exchangers. Furthermore, the helical coil heat exchanger design provides increased surface area, which combined with the length of the coil, enables Vertex to accept 76,000 Btu input while keeping heat energy inside the tank longer. The end result, the company said, was a revolutionary condensing water heater that offered 90% thermal efficiency, 76,000 Btu/hr input rate, significant recovery capability to provide endless hot water, and first-hour rating of 127 gph. For more information, visit