A.O. Smith Showcases Its New High-Efficiency Water Heaters

A two-year RV tour allows contractors and wholesalers to see new products in action.

It looks like smart-phone apps (see story in last month's Propane Energy Update for details) aren't the only way A.O. Smith is going mobile.

A year ago, A.O. Smith kicked off its High-Efficiency Revolution Tour, a two-year cross-country excursion designed to showcase the company's portfolio of high-efficiency water heaters. Since then, the fully loaded RV — dubbed the High-Efficiency Mobile Marketing Vehicle (MMV) — has traveled more than 40,000 miles through 30 states.

"In 2010, A.O. Smith launched several new high-efficiency water heaters," Jeff Storie, the company's senior marketing manager, says. "We were excited about our launch and were looking for ways to drive awareness of these new products out to our wholesalers and contractors. The MMV became the best way for us to get the word out."

Among the new products launched in 2010 was the NEXT Hybrid, a gas water heater with a tankless engine and a small buffer tank, which A.O. Smith says delivers the best of both technologies. It performs like a tankless unit, handling high hot-water demand periods, but also responds well to low draws from simultaneous fixtures.

So far, the response to the rolling RV has been positive, Storie says. "What we've discovered is that our customers are eager to come out, see the new products, and get to touch and feel these unique, high-efficiency products. We typically get more than 50 contractors plus all of the wholesaler's employees through the RV on a given stop."

The tour continues until the end of 2012.

To learn more about some of the technology that's showcased on the A.O. Smith MMV, check out the Propane Training Academy and its rundown of water-heating systems. You can also sign up to take the following free continuing-education course:

Condensing Tankless Water Heaters: Using Propane for the Most Efficient Water Heaters on the Market


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