Rheem Air Conditioner Buyer’s Guide – HVAC Brand Review

When you’re looking for a new HVAC system for your house or office, it can be challenging to know where to start. Given the number and variety of brands in the market, and the myriad options for models and capabilities offered, selecting the right system for your needs can be an overwhelming task!

If you’re looking for a reliable, efficient and trusted name in the market, you may want to consider Rheem. As well as being a household name in the business, they offer excellent warranties and industry-leading customer service. This ensures that when you’re opting for this brand, you’re assured peace of mind when it comes to technical issues.

The Best of Rheem

Rheem has been manufacturing HVAC products since 1956. Since then they have been innovating in product lines such as water heaters, gas furnaces and HVAC. Some of the key innovations by Rheem in HVAC are highlighted below:

In 1998, Rheem introduced the Modulating 90 Plus gas furnace, which is extremely quiet, maintains the temperature within a ½ degree of the thermostat set point, and eliminates hot and cold spots effectively.

Rheem also innovated in the smart home market by introducing EcoNet in many of its products. This is newly-developed  technology that allows Rheem Heating, Cooling and Water Heating products to communicate with each other on one integrated network. The EcoNet Smart Home System allows homeowners to control and manage their Rheem products from anywhere via a mobile app or through a wall-mounted Control Center.

rheem logo

EcoNet notifies homeowners and contractors when the equipment needs service and provides timely diagnostics in easy to understand language. Rheem’s line of EcoNet-enabled water heaters is compatible with the Nest Learning Thermostat, Wink and Logitech’s Harmony hub.

The new Rheem Prestige Series EcoNet-enabled Modulating Gas Furnace is the industry’s first patented heating unit featuring a 97 percent AFUE rating. The variable-speed blower motor runs at a wide range of speeds to deliver better humidity control, while using less power. The patented heat exchanger design improves airflow, which reduces operating sound by 20% to deliver the quietest, most efficient gas furnace.

In 2017, Rheem launched its line of Rheem and Ruud branded ductless Mini-Split Heat Pump units. These include some of the most efficient and advanced single-zone and multi-zone heat pumps currently available for residential applications. Benefits of these appliances include being easy to install and maintain, quiet operation, precise temperature control and hassle-free filter access.

The Drawbacks

Rheem products usually are appreciated by customers for their quiet operation, efficiency and performance. However, many customers that own Rheem products complain of poor customer service. Also, the product warranty only covers replacement of parts and not labor.

The durability of their products also causes some customers to complain, as they need to pay for the cost of contractors replacing and installing the new parts.

How Does Rheem Compare to the Competition?

Rheem has been serving people with their top-of-the-line air conditioners for decades. They have distinguished themselves from other manufacturers with their amazing air conditioners. Here is what specifically makes Rheem better than its competitors.

Cooling Speed

Rheem air conditioners have quick cooling mechanisms in them. They give an immediate cooling effect with the initial turbo settings. They come with multiple fan speeds settings as well, which makes controlling the cooling speed easier. 

Weather Resistance

Rheem has both indoor and outdoor air conditioning units that need extra weather resistance. Their models have protective coats on them which fight off corrosion and pollutants. They also withstand the sunlight and rain quite effectively. 

Energy Efficiency

The air conditioners by Rheem are also different from others in terms of energy efficiency. They use lesser power and deliver more cooling within no time. This leads to both the conservation of energy and the reduction of electricity bills. 

Construction

The construction quality of Rheem air conditioners is another factor that makes people prefer them over other brands. They have superior steel construction, which lasts for a long time. These air conditioners have better parts, and the overall assembly is also great. 

Comparison of the Best Rheem Air Conditioners

Rheem has a broad range of air conditioners ranging from split ACs to window units. They come with different features and, ultimately, different prices. Rheem air conditioners are different in terms of energy efficiency and sizes. So, let’s have a look at the comparison of different Rheem air conditioners to see which one suits you.

Model Name

Energy Efficiency (SEER)

Weight (Pounds)

Unit Size (Inches)

Cooling Speeds

RANL Series 3 Tons 13 SEER R-410A Single-Stage Air Conditioner Condenser

13

193

44x23x31

Single Speed

Rheem RANL-JEZ Air Conditioner

13

25

44x31x33

Single

Rheem Variable Speed (RA20) air conditioner

20 - 13

-

33.75x39x33.75

-

RA17 (EcoNet Enabled) Air Conditioners

17 - 13

-

33.75x35x33.75

2 Stages

Rheem RA13 air conditioner

13 - 15.5

-

29.75x27x29.75

-

Quick Take: Best Rheem Air Conditioners

These are our recommendations for the best Rheem air conditioners:

  1. Classic RANL-JAZ
  2. Prestige RANL-JEZ
  3. Prestige RA20

Review of the Best Rheem Air Conditioners

Rheem air conditioners have impressed us with their high quality and efficient working. If you are looking for a competitive model, then you are in the right place. Here is a review of the best Rheem air conditioners for you. 

PROS

  • Has a parts warranty of 10 years
  • 8 pole fan motor has a quiet operation
  • High weather resistance due to powder paint
  • High energy efficiency of 13 SEER and 11 EER
  • Steel reinforced top grille for added reliability

CONS

  • Has no sound blanket on it
  • A single low-speed function only

Why it Stands Out to Us

This Rheem air conditioner stands out to us the most as an outdoor unit. It has a simple floor mount type, which helps in dragging it around. The airflow is upwards, which prevents the grass and bushes on the ground from any damage. In addition, the energy efficiency rating of 13 SEER and 11 EER makes it more appreciable. This unit has a reinforced steel exterior, which increases its strength and reliability. The air conditioner is also great as it does not need much maintenance over a long usage too. Its grey exterior also does not get dirty quickly, so it needs lesser cleaning as well.

The Classic is a single-stage AC model known for its high efficiency and durability. It is available in various sizes ranging from 1 ton to 5 tons. It has a SEER rating of 16.5, which means it is very efficient compared to the industry standard rating of 13 SEER. The model is priced around the market average.

Bottom Line

Rheem has produced a timeless outdoor air conditioner as it has an amazing warranty of 10 years. This makes it much more reliable than other models and increases the lifetime of this air conditioner. It has high weather resistance and stays around for a long while. The powder paint makes it look shinier and avoids sunlight damage as well. The 8 pole fan motor in it has a noiseless operation. The low and consistent speed makes it best suited for the outdoor parties and the summer eves.

PROS

  • Has a tonnage of 5 tons
  • Has a comfort control system in it
  • Operates on a range of 208 to 230 volts
  • Comes with very high efficiency of 13 SEER
  • Lightweight construction at only 25 pounds

CONS

  • Frequency of 60 Hz
  • Straight cooling system only

Why it Stands Out to Us

This air conditioner by Rheem has grabbed our attention with its variable voltage range. This makes sure that the air conditioner does not fry up or short circuit due to voltage fluctuations. This also makes it better for homes in the countryside where electricity variations are the norm. Moreover, the air conditioner has a tonnage of 5 tons, which ensures a greater cooling in lesser time. This, along with the modified louver panels, improves the cooling experience considerably. 

The Prestige RANL-JEZ has a two-stage compressor that is performs better than a single-stage unit. It has an 18.5 SEER energy rating model that provides two-stage cooling, well above the industry standard.

The RANL-JEZ model controls the flow of the air to ensure maximum comfort. To minimize unwanted moisture, it features an on-demand dehumidification feature. This model also has a Comfort Control communicating system which monitors the operation of the air conditioner, protecting it from very high or very low pressure. This helps differentiate it from other brands.

Bottom Line

This Rheem air conditioner is certainly a winning model that will improve the cooling capacity. The air conditioner has a lightweight frame that weighs only 25 pounds. This makes the air conditioner more portable, and you can drag it anywhere you like. The energy efficiency of 13 SEER and simply assembled frame makes sure there is only a minimum expenditure of electricity. The comfort control system improves its usage even further. So, going for it will be a wise move on your part. 

PROS

  • Has a single row condenser coil in it
  • Has screws with high rust resistance
  • Composite base pan for better design
  • EcoNet™ enabled air conditioner to save power
  • Optimized airflow with the optimized fan orifice

CONS

  • The motor produces noise
  • Air pressure is hard to control

Why it Stands Out to Us

It makes it to our list of the best Rheem air conditioners due to its highly energy-efficient working. Its energy efficiency rating of 17 SEER makes it that much more reliable. It takes lesser power, and in return, there is a reduction in cooling costs on a monthly basis too. The EcoNet™ enabled air conditioner is highly eco-friendly and puts you at ease about contributing to environmental pollution. Moreover, its screws have a high rust resistance as they have passed the 1500 saltwater spray test. So, this air conditioner is here to serve both in terms of effective cooling and longer life.

The RA20 Variable-Speed Air Conditioner efficiently adjusts to a home’s cooling needs, and is also able to deliver humidity and indoor air quality control that standard on/off single-stage designs cannot. It comes with EcoNet which automatically configures the system’s airflow for optimal performance.

The efficiency is up to 20 SEER/13 EER, so it’s highly efficient. It runs quieter, and adapts to surrounding conditions with more precision and efficiency, avoiding temperature fluctuations that are sometimes associated with standard single-stage systems. It is covered by a 10-year limited warranty on parts and conditional parts replacement. It boasts an Estimated Lifetime Savings of $3,270.

Bottom Line

Keeping its features in mind, it is definitely a great air conditioner. Its single row condenser is one of the best things about it as it makes cleaning the coil easier. The frame and parts of the air conditioner have a very high resistance to corrosion and weather damage. It puts up with scorching sunlight as well, so it is safe in this regard. Other than this, the sound blanket effectively minimizes the noise that the motor creates, leaving it to a negligible low. The construction is also more reliable due to the lesser number of fasteners. They make its assembly and setting up simpler too.

PROS

  • Curved louver panels for greater strength
  • Construction provides high resistance to rust
  • Attractive frame with modern cabinet aesthetics
  • External gauge for access for better configuration 
  • Hassle-free panel removal with 35% lesser cabinet fasteners

CONS

  • Single-row condenser coil design
  • Seems overpriced as compared to other models

Why it Stands Out to Us

We like this Rheem air conditioner a lot due to its two-stage cooling. This makes it possible for the users to have a cooling speed that they prefer and have a soothing cool air. The air conditioner is also impressive because of the modern cabinet aesthetics. They make it look as great as it works, and we love the engineering as well. Moreover, its configuration is also quite simple due to an external gauge. All you have to do is rotate the gauge, and you are free to choose the configuration you like. 

The RA17 is a two-stage unit that modulates between two speeds – high and medium. It will operate on medium speed most of the time, providing more precise temperatures and lower humidity while also reducing energy use.

The system only operates on high when necessary during peak warm weather conditions. It has efficiencies up to 17 SEER/13 EER and is EcoNet enabled. It is designed for quieter operation. It is available in various sizes like 2, 3, 4 and 5 tons. It has a limited warranty with conditional unit replacement for 10 years and also covers parts for 10 years.

Bottom Line

After comparing it with other air conditioners, we can vouch for greater ease of use with this one. The louver panels have a curved design for letting the airflow in an even manner. These panels also provide strength to the exterior and the air vents. This then increases the working life of the air conditioner, making it worth the investment. In addition, this air conditioner has lesser cabinet fasteners in its construction. This makes its assembly both quick and trustworthy. So, the final word is that you should invest in it to enjoy an undisturbed cooling this summer.

PROS

  • Extra-long wires for easy connection
  • High energy efficiency of 13 to 15.5 SEER
  • Powder coat system for added protection
  • Noiseless operation with a composite base pan
  • A comprehensive warranty of 10 years on parts

CONS

  • Heavy frame reduces its portability
  • Service windows let dirt inside the air conditioner

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is one of our favorite air conditioners by Rheem as it has such high usability. The unit has an extra-long wire, which lets you connect it with a power supply even when it is far. This makes using it in the outdoors easier as you will not be restricted to a single location. The metallic frame has a strong exterior that can serve for years. This goes especially well with a warranty of 10 years. So, even if the air conditioner acts up, you can claim a free repair or replacement. Thus, it is a nice option for those who want to beat the heat with something reliable. 

The RA13 is a single-stage unit which is quiet and durable. Its cooling efficiency goes from 13 to 15.5 SEER / up to 13 EER, which is comparable to the industry standard.  It is available in 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 3.5, 4 and 5 ton sizes.  It has a 10-year conditional parts warranty.

Bottom Line

This Rheem air conditioner is best for you if you want to leave less of a carbon footprint. The refrigerant in it is quite environment-friendly, and it keeps the air around you safe. The energy efficiency of 13 to 15.5 SEER is another win with this air conditioner. It makes sure that there are the least energy expenditure and maximum cooling production. Other than this, the composite base pan creates a negligible noise, which does not disturb you. So, this can be a great choice for you if the weight of the air conditioner is not a bother to you.

Finding the Best Prices

When shopping around for installing or replacing central air systems, the cost can be huge. Obviously, you’ll want to get yourself the best deal possible.

Some tips that may come in handy:

First, buy in the winter. Demand for air conditioners is lowest at that time. Due to the low demand, retailers have excess stock in their inventory. To encourage sales, appliance stores usually offer discounts to incentivize buyers to make a purchase during the off season. To get an off-season discount from the HVAC contractor, wait until fall or spring to install the new system, as the contractors are not as busy.

Second, when it comes to the installation of your AC system, do not compromise on quality. You may save a few dollars by picking a cheaper installer, but the money you save will be a lot less than the extra bills you may have to pay due to a shoddy installation job. The cheapest quote may not necessarily be the best, especially if the contractor has many dissatisfied customers on Angie’s List and Yelp. It may be a good idea to also check the ratings on the Better Business Bureau website, so that you know what kind of service and quality you can expect.

Third, you should check online to see if there are any offers, rebates or incentives being given by your state or local utility for replacing an outdated HVAC system with a newer, more efficient one. In case they are both offering a promotion, you should be able to stack both offers, thus saving yourself a good chunk of money. You should also check with the leading HVAC manufacturers to see if they offer any rebates. If you’re really lucky, you may be able to score a triple discount with the manufacturer, the state and the local utility giving you rebates.  

Finally, ask for at least 3 bids from various contractors before you make the decision. Ask them to factor in any applicable tax rebates and state incentives on efficient appliances into the bid. You might even ask more than 3 companies for quotes, depending on how thorough you want to be. Keep in mind that you may need to wait a few days or weeks in order to get a quote, so unless it’s an emergency, start getting quotes well in advance of when you expect to get the new system.

What Kind of Warranty Does Rheem Offer?

Rheem takes air conditioning seriously, and they make sure that there are no problems with your cooling unit. However, sometimes, issues can surface, and they have made a customer-friendly policy for the warranty of their products.

Warranty Range

The warranty for Rheem air conditioners extends from 5 to 12 years, depending on the price of each unit. The warranty changes with the delicacy of the parts and the kind of function each part performs. It also depends on the technology used for cooling in each unit.

Registration

In order to claim a repair or replacement, you need to make sure that you register yourself with Rheem. This is to be done on their website as soon as you get a product. This helps in avoiding any problems later on, and there will be a prompt solution to your problem. You will also have to verify your purchase by putting in the serial number of your air conditioner. 

Limitations

Well, the Rheem air conditioner warranty has some limitations to it, like all other brands. If the parts have been handled in an amateur way, there will be no repair or replacement. The problems due to poor installation will not be the responsibility of the manufacturer too. 

Company History

Rheem Manufacturing Company is an privately-held American manufacturer headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The company has international offices in Canada, México, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, and Chile.

Rheem was founded in 1925 by 2 brothers, Richard "R.S." Rheem and Donald "D.L." Rheem. Rheem acquired the Republic Steel package company, which allowed it to enter the business of water heating. In 1931, the company acquired the John Wood Manufacturing Company of California, which produced automatic gas storage water heaters.

Rheem became the largest manufacturer of automatic water heaters in the United States in 1941. The company played a significant role during World War II by contributing towards wartime production, including building ships and aircraft parts. It got into central air conditioning and heater systems for homes in 1956, with the introduction of the “Rheemaire” and went on to make this business one of its largest focus areas. Rheem purchased the Ruud Manufacturing Company in 1959.

Rheem started making heat pumps and HVAC units for residential applications in 1970. A decade later, Rheem introduced the Richmond Water Heaters brand, which was aimed at home-improvement stores and hardware stores. Rheem was acquired in 1984 by Pace Industries, Inc. A year later, the company acquired Raypak, Inc., then started expanding into new areas such as pool heaters and commercial boilers.

Rheem is owned by Paloma Industries, Ltd., a privately-dheld Japanese company with headquarters in Nagoya, Japan. Rheem also has subsidiaries such as Ruud Manufacturing Company, Raypak, and Prostock. The company’s premium brands include Rheem, Raypak, Ruud, Eemax, Richmond and Splendid, as well as commercial refrigeration brands Russell, Witt, ColdZone and Kramer, which are part of the company’s Heat Transfer Products Group (HTPG) division.

Ruud has product offerings covering residential and commercial heating, cooling, conventional storage-style water heaters, tankless water heaters, solar water heating systems, replacement parts and accessories for all categories. Raypak manufactures residential pool and spa heaters, commercial heaters, boilers and tanks. Prostock is a network of independent HVAC parts outlets that stock PROTECH™ brand parts as well as all of the industry’s most trusted brands.

Conclusion

The Rheem brand is a well-known HVAC manufacturer, with a good reputation in the market. With over 90 years of history operating in the US, the company is ideally positioned to serve its customers in different markets.

You might choose Rheem for their innovative technologies like EcoNet-enabled ACs, or you may wish to have quiet and efficient products that provide peace of mind. Do refer to our tips for selecting the right model for your house, and how to save money when buying the new appliance.