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A. O. Smith’s NEXT Hybrid water heater performs like a tankless model and can also handle high hot water demand periods. The system features a patented heat transfer process that utilizes a secondary heat exchanger to capture the heated flue gas from the tankless unit and route it back through a buffer tank to extract additional heat. The combined effort of the two technologies creates a highly energy-efficient system, with 90 percent thermal efficiency.

Editors’ Comments: With this hybrid system, A.O. Smith addresses a common complaint with tankless technology: interruptions in hot water during periods of high demand.

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