Rheem is a formidable name in the industry, known for its reliable, durable air conditioners, heat pumps, ductless split systems, gas furnaces, and water heaters with solid efficiency ratings. The price of Rheem units is comparable to its competitors — and although it isn’t the most budget-friendly pick, it’s a strong contender. Its units cost between $5,100 and $7,600 on average, but costs vary based on factors specific to your scenario.
Do you need to get a new AC unit soon? Our guide on the best HVAC companies can help you find someone to do the installation.
What Is the Typical Cost of a Rheem AC?
On average, a Rheem air conditioning unit costs between $5,100 and $7,600 for the installed unit. However, the cost fluctuates based on factors specific to your situation, such as the size of your home, the model you choose, and the installation difficulty.
Rheem AC Cost by Model
Rheem’s central air conditioners come in three tiers: Select, Classic, and Prestige. The chart below offers a quick overview of Rheem’s air conditioning models with efficiency ratings and installed costs (AC unit plus HVAC installation costs).
|Model||Efficiency Rating||Installed Cost|
|Select Single-Stage WA13||13 SEER||$4,000 – $6,500|
|Select Single-Stage WA14||14 SEER||$4,000 – $6,700|
|Select Single-Stage WA16||16 SEER||$4,200 – $6,900|
|Classic Single-Stage RA13||15.5 SEER||$4,500 – $7,400|
|Classic Single-Stage RA14||15 SEER||$4,600 – $7,000|
|Classic Single-Stage RA16||16 SEER||$4,700 – $7,600|
|Classic Two-Stage RA17||17 SEER||$5,300 – $8,300|
|Prestige Variable Speed RA20||20.5 SEER||$5,800 – $9,200|
Rheem AC Cost vs. Competitors
While Rheem is a strong brand in the HVAC industry, it doesn’t hurt to consider your options before committing to one of its units. The chart below places Rheem in a head-to-head comparison against two industry leaders — Carrier and Trane — to help you decide which air conditioning system brand is best for your home. Regarding performance, efficiency, models, and pricing, Rheem and Ruud AC units are comparable brands. For more information on that, read our in-depth comparison of Rheem vs Ruud.
|Premium Unit Cost||$5,800 to $9,200||$6,400 – $8,000||$7,500 – $10,000|
|Low-end Unit Cost||$3,500 to $6,500||$2,900 – $4,800||$3,500 – $5,000|
|Top Efficiency Rating||20.5 SEER||24 SEER2||21.5 SEER2|
|Warranty||10-year parts, 10-year limited unit replacement||10-year parts, 20-year or limited lifetime||10-year parts, 12-year compressor, 20-year heat exchanger|
Which Factors Impact Rheem Air Conditioner Prices?
Your Rheem air conditioner cost varies based on factors specific to your home, such as the efficiency rating you choose, the size you need for your home, and installation costs. Here are the primary factors that may affect your Rheem air conditioner cost.
Like other HVAC systems, AC units come in varying efficiency ratings. This efficiency rating plays a major role in the cost of your system — the more efficient the cooling system is, the more it’ll cost. For example, consider these models:
- Select Single-Stage WA13 with up to 13 SEER: $4,000 to $6,500
- Classic Single-Stage RA13 with up to 15.5 SEER: $4,500 to $7,400
- Prestige Variable Speed RA20 with up to 20.5 SEER: $5,800 to $9,200
As of 2023, the ratings are switching from Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) to SEER2, which accounts for real-life factors impacting efficiency. The new testing procedure accounts for field conditions of installed equipment by raising the system’s external static pressure by a factor of five.
While the new ratings are more accurate, they still represent the total heat removed from a conditioned space throughout the annual cooling season. Although Rheem hasn’t switched its ratings at the time of writing, it will likely update them with new ratings soon. Several Rheem AC units have Energy Stars ratings along with great SEER ratings.
Installation and Labor
Installation and labor costs are a sizable chunk of the installed AC unit cost. Unless you decide to install the system yourself — which can be complicated — you’ll likely pay several thousand dollars in installation and labor. Most homeowners pay between $2,000 and $6,000 in labor and installation, but some may pay more or less based on their situations.
Labor costs usually vary from one location to the next — as well as from company to company — so this factor is very dependent on who you choose and where you live. To find the best labor rates, we recommend obtaining a few quotes from local installers and comparing your options.
Aside from labor, you’ll also need to consider installation costs. Generally, installation costs rise or fall based on the installation difficulty, as some projects require more work than others. For instance, installation costs likely won’t be high if you’re simply replacing an old unit with a new one.
However, if your installation is more complex, it’ll cost more. For example, if you need to install or replace ductwork — or your air handler is hard to access — you can expect to pay on the higher end of the spectrum (or more) for your installation, as these projects require extensive work.
Location and Climate
Your location and local climate will also help determine the final cost of your new AC unit. Technically speaking, these factors don’t directly contribute to the price you see on your bill, but they impact what standards your AC unit needs to meet.
Residents of certain regions of the United States must purchase a system with the minimum efficiency rating in line with the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) requirements. As of 2023, the DOE requires residents in the northern United States to have AC units with a minimum rating of 14 SEER. For residents of the southwest and southeast, this number climbs to 15 SEER, as these areas are more extreme than the northern regions.
Of course, these requirements only apply to new installations — residents with older units that don’t meet these requirements don’t need to replace their HVAC systems immediately. Instead, they can keep the unit until it taps out — but when they need to replace it, they must purchase a unit that meets the minimum requirements in their area.
Here are the costs based on minimum efficiencies from Rheem’s lineup:
- Minimum efficiency for northern households: 14 SEER
- Select Single-Stage WA14 with up to 14 SEER: $4,000 to $6,700
- Minimum efficiency for southwestern and southeastern households: 15 SEER
- Classic Single-Stage RA14 with up to 15 SEER: $4,600 to $7,000
Maintenance and Repair
Although Rheem air conditioners are high-quality and durable, they require maintenance and upkeep to ensure the system continues to run smoothly. Plus, they’ll need repairs when something fails or is on its last leg.
Generally, you should service your Rheem air conditioner at least once yearly, as this will help keep your system in tip-top shape and catch any issues before they require major repairs. HVAC maintenance costs on central air conditioners usually ranges between $60 and $550, but most homeowners pay around $150.
If your system requires repairs, you’ll incur more costs, but the total depends on what repairs it needs.
Type of Refrigerant Needed
Like most air conditioners on the market today, Rheem AC units run using R410-a refrigerant, also known as Puron. This is an upgrade from the less environmentally friendly Freon (R-22) common in older units.
As of 2023, R410-a is phasing out — and its replacements, R32 and R454b, will become the new standard. However, this change isn’t standard, so most units still feature R410-a.
The type of refrigerant can contribute to the cost of maintaining your AC unit, as recharging prices vary based on the type. For example, if you have an older unit that uses Freon, you might pay as much as $600 to recharge it. On the flip side, newer systems with R410-a are much cheaper to recharge, usually costing around $260.
Choosing an appropriately-sized air conditioner is essential to ensure your home remains cool and comfortable. If you choose an undersized unit, the system will struggle to work overtime as it attempts to cool your home. Constant cycling isn’t good for the unit, as it wears on the components and may lead to premature breakdown.
On the flip side, an oversized unit will short cycle, meaning the system will only run for a short period since it cools the smaller space rapidly. Although it might seem perfect to have a unit that can cool fast before shutting off, the constant on-and-off pattern results in more wear on the system’s components, opening the door to issues. On top of that, an oversized unit can lead to uneven cooling and drastic temperature fluctuations.
So, it’s essential to choose an appropriately-sized unit. The DOE recommends sizing your air conditioner with about 20 BTUs (British Thermal Units) of cooling output per square foot of living space. So, you would need a 1.5-ton unit for a home of around 1,000 square feet, or a 4-ton system for a home of about 2,500 square feet.
Larger units cost more, so you can expect to pay more for your unit if you have a larger house. We recommend seeking professional assistance to determine the correct unit size for your home. It can be more complicated when considering other aspects of the home, like shade, sunlight, ceiling height, and drafts.
How To Save on Rheem AC Costs
The cost of a new Rheem air conditioner can be steep, but there are a couple of ways to minimize costs and maximize your savings. Here are a few options to save on your new Rheem AC unit:
- Efficiency upgrade: If you upgrade from an older AC unit with a low-efficiency rating to a new, high-efficiency model, you’ll save money. While there’s no getting around the initial up-front costs, you’ll notice the savings in your utility bill throughout the cooling season, as the more efficient units use less energy to provide cooling comfort. Use a smart thermostat to further increase your energy savings.
- Financial incentives: One of the best ways to minimize the cost of your Rheem AC unit is by taking advantage of available rebates and incentives. Sometimes, you can find deals through your installer — but other times, they’ll come straight from Rheem. Watch for HVAC tax credits available to you, as you might be eligible for credits by upgrading to a more efficient unit. Consult your accountant for more information on credits available to you.
- Routine maintenance: Once you purchase your new unit, remember to stay on top of maintenance, as this can help address issues before they spiral into expensive problems. To ensure your system remains in tip-top shape, schedule a service appointment for routine heating and cooling maintenance at least once per year.
- Shop around: Before selecting a contractor to install your Rheem unit, we recommend getting quotes from a few alternative contractors in your area. Doing this lets you compare quotes and select your best options, potentially saving you several hundred dollars.
So, Is a Rheem AC Worth the Cost?
A Rheem air conditioner might be the perfect way to keep your home cool and comfortable during the sweltering heat of summer. The Rheem brand is a solid option, costing homeowners an average of between $5,100 and $7,600 for a system. Of course, costs may vary based on factors specific to your situation — to get the best price, we recommend shopping around.
FAQs About Rheem AC
How much does a 3.5-ton Rheem AC unit cost?
On average, a 3.5-ton Rheem air conditioner costs around $1,700 — but you’ll likely pay between $4,000 and $5,000 with installation. Of course, the cost might be higher or lower based on the model you choose and other factors specific to your situation.
Are Rheem good AC units?
Rheem is a solid contender in the HVAC industry that often ranks among the top ten brands. The company is known for its energy-efficient, durable, and reliable models — so if you’re looking for a new AC unit, Rheem might have an ideal system for you.
Is Rheem cheaper than Carrier?
Rheem’s pricing is relatively similar to Carrier, although certain models might be cheaper. Overall, they’re comparable in terms of budget and premium models.
How long should a Rheem AC unit last?
Like most air conditioners, a Rheem AC unit will last around 15 to 20 years, sometimes more or less. The lifespan of an air conditioner is highly dependent on maintenance and repairs, as a well-maintained unit is more likely to last longer than a poorly-maintained model.