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Rheem AC Reviews & Prices in 2021

Is a Rheem central air conditioner right for your home and your family?

These Rheem HVAC reviews will help you choose the perfect air conditioning unit for your home in 2021.

I’ve been reviewing heating and cooling systems, including air conditioning systems, for more than a decade. 

While they all keep us cool in hot weather, different central air conditioning systems have different features. Even within a single brand, there are some big differences.

Rheem is one of the best selling brands of central air conditioners in the U.S. You might already know this.

But do you know how much the brand has to offer? I’ve done the research for you, to help you make an educated choice for your home.

I’ve identified the best of the brand and the most affordable models. You’ll see from this review that there are choices for everyone.

My Rheem AC reviews have got you covered!

About Rheem the Brand

Rheem Manufacturing has been operating for nearly a century. It was started by two Rheem brothers, Richard and Donald, and has continued to grow over the decades.

Today, Rheem is the only manufacturer in the world that produces heating, cooling, water heating, pool and spa heating, and refrigeration products.

The company is also the largest manufacturer of heating products in North America.

Rheem has some ambitious sustainability goals they intend to put in place by 2025. That’s when the company will be 100 years old.

Their primary goals are to improve energy efficiency and reduce waste to zero.

Which Rheem ACs Are Available?

Rheem Manufacturing Company offers three different Rheem AC series. These are the Prestige, the Classic Plus, and the Classic Series.

Currently, the company features seven new Rheem models on its website. These are the seven AC unit models I am including in my Rheem air conditioner reviews.

The pictures used are of Rheem machines, all rights reserved.

Features of the Rheem Range

The range of available Rheem residential air conditioners is quite small. But it includes variable speed, two-stage, and single-stage AC units.

Variable speed units operate continuously. They change their speed of operation as the temperature changes in your home.

A single-stage machine works at only one speed, turning itself on and off. Let’s say you set the thermostat to 75 degrees, the AC unit will run when the temperature in your home hits 76 degrees. When it cools down to 75, it turns off.

Two-stage or dual-stage machines have a compressor that works at two speeds, high and low. They cycle on and off less often than single-stage systems.

What’s great about them is that every Rheem AC unit offers efficiency.

Rheem air conditioners offer a minimum 20 Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) and a minimum 13 Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER). Both rank high for efficiency rating.

They were one of the first brands to stop producing inefficient 13 and 14 SEER models. Only one model is close to that bracket, but it offers a range of 13 to 15.5 SEER. This same model has an EER of between 11.5 and 13. All the rest have a minimum 13 EER.

Tonnage of Rheem units ranges from 1,5 to 5 ton. The tonnage determines how much heat the unit can remove from your home in an hour. 

Your HVAC contractor will suggest the best tonnage. This will depend on the size of your home and the local climate.

You can install all Rheem ACs indoors or outdoors, or you can have them installed as split systems. All offer great energy efficiency.

A split system has a cabinet indoors with the evaporator coil and an air handler. A second cabinet holds the condenser and compressor. This option is ideal for bigger homes.

rheem split

You have a choice of fuel type too: natural or propane gas, a combination of natural and propane gas, or electricity.

Another bonus of all Rheem AC units is that they are EcoNet enabled. So, if you want to get a Rheem and have EcoNet installed you can. Then you will receive service alerts and you be able to operate the machine by remote control via the EcoNet Mobile App. 

Available New Rheem AC Units

Prestige Series


There is only one Prestige central AC model in our Rheem air conditioner reviews. It is a variable speed unit and one of the best the company manufactures.

It is the most energy-efficient model, with a minimum of 20 SEER and 13 EER. The model number, RA20, comes from Rheem (R) air conditioner (A) with a seer rating of 20.

You get 2, 3, 4, or 5 ton Rheem Prestige RA20 air conditioners.

Prestige air conditioning units are regarded as top-of-the-line. This series was recognized as an Energy Star Most Efficient Product in 2011.

Classic Plus Series


Our review includes only one model from this series. It’s a two-stage machine, the RA17, which as you can guess has a SEER rating of up to 17. The EER is up to 13.

Rheem offers 2, 3, 4, or 5-ton options and they all feature a scroll compressor. You can read more about the benefits of this great compressor in the next section.

Classic Series


There are five Rheem Classic AC models featured in this series. Four models are communicating HVAC cooling systems – RA16, RA14, RA14**W) and RA13. One is a non-communicating system, RA17.

The model numbers tell you the SEER ratings. The EER of all except the RA13 is 13. The RA13 has an EER of between 11.5 and 13. 

Understanding the difference between the communicating and non-communicating Rheem HVAC units involves a lot of tech-speak.

But the nitty-gritty is that a communicating system is more efficient. It is also less noisy and offers better dehumidification. The system can balance temperatures precisely. And it optimizes comfort control in specific zones. This type of unit is also cheaper to run.

Non-communicating HVAC systems involve more wiring, one for each function. The thermostat is the switch, and it controls each function via a separate wire.

They do have advantages though. They are cheaper than communicating HVAC systems and they are easier to install, service, and repair. This is why an HVAC contractor might recommend having them installed.

Only a Rheem Classic RA17 unit is a two-stage machine, the rest are single-stage.

The R17 is available as a 2 or 3 ton Rheem AC. The tonnage of the RA16 units is 2, 2.5, 3, 3.5, 4, and 5 tons. So you have a good choice.

Both the R17 and R16 have scroll compressors. The RA16 incorporates a composite base pan for quieter operation.

The RA14**W, RA14, and RA13 all have composite base pans. The available tonnage of the RA14**W is 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, and 3.5. The RA14 comes in 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 3.5, 4 ton, and 5 ton units, and the RA13 in 2, 2.5, 3, 3.5, 4, and 5 tons.

Rheem Air Conditioner Pros & Cons


  • The innovative EcoNet Smart Monitoring System offers a level of protection, comfort, and energy savings that is unique.
  • The Comfort Control System is a highly efficient communicating HVAC system.
  • Most Rheem central air conditioners incorporate a scroll compressor.
  • There is a choice of performance levels.
  • Rheem brands offer superior humidity management.


  • One of the Rheem Classic single-stage air conditioners has a SEER rating of only 13 to 15.5.
  • Rheem installers do not have to be certified.

Unique Features

Rheem central air conditioning systems have lots of pros. They also have a few unique features that offer great benefits. 

EcoNet System

Many of the Rheem AC units feature the Comfort Control System with its superior EcoNet thermostat. You can get it installed at an extra cost.

The EcoNet system is described as the brains of Rheem Smart Air and Water Products. It’s an optional upgrade that is smart, simple, and will save you money.

The EcoNet Control Center works with Rheem central air conditioning units as well as other heating and cooling systems. You can also use it with a heat pump and with an air handler.

So it’s good for heating, cooling, and general energy efficiency. But we’re not talking about heating here, we are discussing cooling in this review.

EcoNet is an energy innovation that enables precision comfort via remote control. The app lets you manage heating, cooling, and energy-saving features of every unit equipped with the EcoNet.

It sends service alerts so that you can schedule essential maintenance. Better still, professional help is a quick click away.

Copeland-Compliant Scroll Compressor

Introduced in 1994, this compressor is the best in the industry. Rheem is the only manufacturer that uses it in all its residential heating and cooling HVAC equipment.

Scroll Inside is the recognizable compressor. It is a registered trademark of the Rheem Manufacturing Company.

Its advantages include less chance of gas leaking, improved reliability, and better performance in terms and tear. Instead of wearing out over time, Rheem AC reviews show that it wears in. 

Cons – Problems with Rheem ACs

There are fewer cons than there used to be with Reem central air conditioner systems.

A few years ago, the poor-performing Rheem 13 SEER and 14 SEER ACs were the biggest con with this brand. They don’t make these anymore. Their replacement units are better quality and all are high-efficiency models.

The most affordable Rheem Classic AC is not as efficient as their other AC units. The single-stage RA13 offers limited energy efficiency, with a SEER of between 13 and 15.5.

The fact that Rheem installers do not have to be certified can be a problem. All they need is an HVAC license. This doesn’t guarantee that the installer is properly qualified. So be careful when you choose your installer.

Rheem AC Prices

Rheem air conditioners prices will vary depending on your supplier and your home. Generally, suppliers aren’t keen to hand out prices without a home inspection. Every house is different, and, as you know, homeowners’ needs also vary a lot.

The time and effort it’s going to take installers to do the job will affect the cost. For example, if the installer needs to place a unit on the roof or indoors in a crawlspace, the cost will be higher.

There are some prices available online, so you can get an idea of pricing.

Be aware that the prices we have quoted don’t come from a single supplier. And they don’t take after-sales service into account.

It’s important for you to ask your supplier and HVAC contractor for a free estimate of cost.

Series Model No Performance Unit Price Installation Price
Prestige RA20 Variable speed $4,475 – $6,450 $1,400 – $2,800
Classic Plus RA17 Two stage $4,050 – $5,600 $1,250 – $2,700
Classic RA17 non-communicating Two stage $3,650 – $5,185 $1,250 – $2,700
Classic RA16 Single Stage $3,500 – $4,950 $1,200 – $2,650
Classic RA14 Single Stage $3,485 – $4,400 $1,200 – $2,650
Classic RA14**W Single Stage $3,400 – $4,885 $1,200 – $2,650
Classic RA13 Single Stage $3,315 – $4,750 $1,200 – $2,650

Rheem Air Conditioner Warranties

While compiling these Rheem air conditioner reviews, we found that all Rheem air conditioner brands are backed by reasonable warranties. And the company designs them for the three different series.

To qualify a unit for the warranty you will need to register. If you register online, you will get a confirmation email after you have supplied your name, email address, and any other details they ask for. It’s not going to cost you anything.

An HVAC contractor doesn’t have to help you to register. You can do it yourself.

Prestige Series Warranties

Like many brands, Rheem has upgraded its warranties on top models.

Most Prestige air handlers, including air conditioners that are designed for cooling the air, have a 10-year warranty. It also covers unit replacement.

If the compressor of the RA20 or RA17 fails within 10 years, Rheem will replace the entire condensing unit, not only the compressor.

Sometimes conditional 10-year warranties on parts may apply. This is average for the industry.

There is no extended labor (or service) warranty on air conditioning systems.

Classic Series Warranties

Most Classic air handlers, including air conditioners, carry a 10-year conditional parts warranty. Less often, a unit will carry a limited 5-year parts warranty.

The Classic Plus Series has a similar conditional 10-year warranty to Prestige. It covers unit replacement and parts.

Remember, you will have to supply your product serial number, your name, email address, and other contact details when you register.

Who Can Install My Rheem AC?

I have mentioned that Rheem installers don’t have to be certified, but they must be licensed. This means that the equipment must be installed by a trained HVAC professional who is qualified to do the job.

Many companies that offer an installation service. When we did a review of options we figured your best bet is to go with a technician who is certified with North American Technician Excellence (NATE).

Top HVAC contractors and installers only hire NATE-certified technicians you can depend on. 

Rheem offers a dealer locator service. They also recommend Rheem Pro Partners who they regard as elite contractors.

You will find more information on the Rheem website.


Is Rheem a good AC brand?

Rheem AC is an excellent brand. There was a time when it was poorly rated, but the reliability, efficiency, and durability of the AC brand have improved a lot in the last decade.

Is Rheem better than Trane?

Trane offers a better warranty than Rheem. The Trade SEER rating for the two-stage unit options is fractionally better. Trane only allows certified dealers to sell and install its products. Rheem doesn’t certify dealers or installers.

Who makes Rheem air conditioners?

The Rheem Manufacturing Co. makes Rheem air conditioners. The company was founded in California in 1925 by two Rheem brothers and it’s been in business ever since.

How long does a Rheem AC last?

Any good quality, well-maintained central air conditioner will usually last for about 15 years. Sometimes it will last longer. So, if you maintain your Rheem Classic or Prestige aircon unit properly, it should last you at least 15 years.

My Conclusion About Rheem AC

Rheem produces some of the best heating, cooling, and water heating equipment in the U.S. Their HVAC systems are among the best in the industry.

The three aircon series the company manufactures offer a choice in cost. There is definitely something for everyone.

General advantages of the brand include superior energy, humidity, sound, and comfort management, 

There is no doubt that the Prestige AC units are in a heating/cooling class of their own. They are Energy Star certified, and it’s the most energy-efficient model the company makes. With a 20 SEER, I believe that if you can afford it, the extra cost is worth it.

Rheem Classic units offer the most choice and variety as this review shows. The Classic Plus Series is a two-stage version of the Prestige variable air conditioner. The five other models offer differing levels of efficiency to suit your pocket.

The cost factor includes size, tonnage, performance,  the model you choose, and installation.