AO Smith Heat Pump Review

An expert review of the AO Smith heat pump Voltex. Find out more about AO Smith Voltex a hybrid water heater with its features, pros and cons and how it can save you money.

Voltex is the hybrid electric water heater that utilizes the heat pump technology to increase the energy efficiency to the maximum 2.4 EF, while cutting the energy usage by half. Saving energy means more money in your pocket.

Available models | Benefits | Features

There are two models you can choose from AO Smith Voltex series; PHPT-60 as the 60-gallon and PHPT-80 as the 80-gallon water heater. If your family requires lots of hot water, by buying a high capacity Voltex hybrid water heater you will have enough hot water for those peak demand periods.

Both 60 and 80-gallon Voltex models come with the 10-year warranty for the water heater tank and its parts.

Great benefits when using AO Smith heat pump

ao smith heat pump voltex as hybrid water heater

Voltex hybrid electric heat pump as other heat pumps uses the surrounding heat to heat the water while dehumidifying and cooling the air. Voltex uses the same cooling/heating principle as your refrigerator or air conditioning and requires lots of fresh air. This is why the installation inside the smaller rooms or closet is not recommended.

AO Smith heat pump is also an electric water heater that uses a standard voltage of 240 V and two heating elements, upper 4,5 kW and lower 2 kW to heat water. Yes, Voltex is an electric heater that provides the same amount of hot water as the conventional electric unit, but with over two times the efficiency.

Heat pump technology and its insulation thickness of 2" make this unit Energy Star qualified and eligible for federal tax credit, rebates and incentive programs. It is perfect for those who are looking for the versatile, electric water heater with the green technology.

The "environmentally-friendly" R134a refrigerant used for compressors is one of reasons why this AO Smith heat pump is "green".

emergency plumber

AO Smith Voltex is versatile

AO Smith heat pump operates in one of the four modes so your heating requirements can adjust according to the outside conditions:

  • High efficiency

  • Hybrid

  • Electric

  • Vacation mode

High efficiency mode draws the heat from the surrounding air and transfers it to the water through the heat exchanger. This mode also allows your hybrid water heater to revert automatically to the heating element if surrounding air or water temperature are not optimal for heat pump operation (below 45 F or above 109 F). When Voltex is working in this mode, it can reach energy efficiency of up to 2.4 for 60-gallon model and 2.3 EF for 80-gallon water heater.

Hybrid mode, based on the heating requirements, allows the water heater automatically to switch between compressor and the heat elements for maximum efficiency. This is the default mode that uses the heat pump as the primary source for water heating, while the electric heating elements will turn on if there is a need (high demand). When Voltex operates in hybrid mode its first hour rating is the highest; 68 GPH for 60-gallon model and 84 GPH for 80-gallon water heater.

Electric mode uses heating elements only, where your Voltex works as the electric water heater. Recommendation is to use this mode during the winter, cold days.

Vacation mode is a great feature when you are absent as it helps you reduce the operating cost and prevent the unit from freezing during the winter time. By switching to the vacation mode, water heater will maintain water temperature approximately 60 F.

AO Smith heat pump can to produce hot water with the temperature from 95 F to 150 F which can be adjusted using up and down buttons on the front panel.

Voltex features

Heat pump is integrated into the top of the Voltex. High capacity tanks, such as 60 and 80 gallon units enable the heat pump to operate more frequently than the heating elements. Correct condensate draining and the minimum amount of air will guarantee proper work.

At the top of the water heater, there is a user-friendly LCD display to show the status and working information with the large touch pad control for convenient and easy adjustments and control. If there is something wrong with the water heater, this is where you can find error messages and make the troubleshooting easier.

Another great thing about Voltex hybrid electric water heater is the presence of the powered anode rod. It is also known as the non-sacrificial anode rod, which protects the tank from corrosion and eliminates the need for anode replacement.


AO Smith heat pump is one of the latest advancements in water heating industry and great addition to already wide selection of AO Smith heating appliances. Buy from Amazon.

Related Articles

(Photo credit AO Smith)