Although there are many different brands of HVAC systems, they all operate on the same basic design. The units extract heat and humidity from the indoor air to provide a cooler, temperature-controlled environment inside a building. 

With so many A/C options available on the market, it can be challenging to choose which one may be right for your needs. However, it is an important decision because a new HVAC system is not a budget-friendly purchase! A poor choice can be felt for years to come, and it can continue to bleed your wallet with high monthly electric bills.

This article will explore two well-known brands, American Standard and Rheem. It will look at the similarities, differences, where each shines, and where they may fall a little flat.

American Standard

American Standard is one of the industry’s most established companies, with a reputation for producing dependable devices that dates back to the company’s opening in 1929. American Standard is the sister company to Trane — a well-respected brand. In fact, American Standard and Trane HVAC systems are manufactured on the same lines. 

  • Made with highly durable parts
  • Best extended warranty in the industry
  • Extra quiet

For the full breakdown of how American Standard scored in our ratings, read our American Standard AC review.


Rheem Manufacturing Company began developing water heating systems in 1925 and grew into air conditioning and HVAC systems in the 1950s. The Paloma Group, which also owns Ruud HVAC systems, now owns Rheem, which manufactures long-lasting, low-cost HVAC equipment.

The company also makes water heaters, pool and spa heaters, water softeners, and commercial refrigeration equipment. Rheem is one of the largest heating product producers in North America.

  • Known for affordability
  • Company is committed to achieving zero waste
  • Good choice for moderate climates

Want to learn more about Rheem HVAC products? Take a look at our Rheem AC review.

American Standard vs Rheem: Comparison

While American Standard is known as one of the most dependable air conditioners on the market, Rheem is a more modest option. American Standard is considered a premium unit, while Rheem is a standard brand. Standard brands are expected to last 15-20 years.

Rheem units can break down when pushed to extremes, according to reviewers. For those that reside in places with higher temps, the initial savings on a Rheem unit may be transferred to repair costs. Rheem has 11 AC models to choose from.

On the other hand, American Standard is a premium brand with seven central air models to choose from. There are four Silver series, one gold, and two platinum models to choose from.

When it comes to durability, American Standard is a clear winner — especially in brutally hot environments.

American Standard pulls pretty fair ahead of Rheem when it comes to noise levels of the air conditioning units. A 50-60 dB is the lowest range for A/C units currently on the market. American Standard’s top-of-the-line model clocks in at a 54 dB noise level.

Rheem units fall somewhere between 65 and 70 dB. While this is not exactly deafening, it isn’t as whisper-quiet as an American Standard.

Rheem and American Standard are comparable in terms of energy efficiency because of the wide range between the top-of-the-line American Standard and the budget-friendly model.

As can be expected, the top-tier A/C units offer greater energy efficiency. The AccuComfort Platinum 20 (22 SEER) by American Standard uses a variable-speed compressor. The unit will make slight adjustments while running to keep the temperature stable within the cooled space. 

Rheem’s top-tier units fall under the Prestige series, which are not quite as efficient as the American Standard Platinum model. The variable-speed compressor has a 19.5 SEER rating.

When it comes to mid-range models, Rheem still falls slightly short. The company’s Classic Plus line of units (16 SEER) uses an EcoNet enhanced control system to improve climate control scheduling and operation.

American Standard’s Standard’s Gold 17 (18 SEER) holds an ENERGY STAR certification and is known to cut monthly energy costs in half.

The lower-end units offer similar efficiency ratings. American Standard’s budget-friendly unit, the Silver 14 (16 SEER), is comparable to Rheem’s Classic Series unit (16 SEER).

A properly installed unit is critical when it comes to your HVAC system’s performance. American Standard quotes general installation prices on its website. However, the price is not guaranteed as local taxes and fees may come into play.

Rheem’s website makes finding a qualified installer straightforward. The database the company maintains contains only verified installers that the company deems reliable. Customers can search by area.

​​Previously, Rheem had a reputation for not being as reliable as some other HVAC brands, but that has changed since the company worked hard to improve durability by sourcing higher-quality parts.

For instance, the 2-stage compressor used in Rheem’s RA17 unit is on par with the ClimaTuff compressor found in Amerian Standard units. The power and longevity American Standard is known for may still eke out the win in the compressor category, however.

American Standard AccuComfort Platinum 20’s variable-speed compressor uses AccuLink to keep the temperature stable. The mid-range and budget models also have high-quality compressors. The Gold 17’s cooling capacity is between  24,000 and 60,000 BTUs, and the entry-level unit, Silver 14, boasts the same Duration compressor as the Platinum units.

Rheem’s RA17 has Comfort Control technology that gives you more control over the cooling power. Its Copeland Scroll Variable Speed compressor was launched in 2016 — so long-term functionality isn’t yet known.

While the units are reliable, both American Standard and Rheem have a reputation for being costly to repair. Many of the parts used in American Standard air conditioners are proprietary, making repair costs higher, but if the HVAC system is installed and maintained properly, repairs are not common.

Since Rheem started improving the quality of their third-party parts, reliability has gone up. Parts are generally available when needed. For instance, the Copeland Scroll Variable Speed compressor is manufactured by Emerson Climate Technologies, one of the biggest HVAC part suppliers in the world.

Determining the cost of a new HVAC system includes the price of the unit, installation, materials, and labor. Overall, you can expect American Standard units to be more costly than Rheem. American Standard is usually classified as a premium brand, while Rheem is considered a standard brand.

You can find American Standard unit prices online, including an installation cost estimate However, local taxes, fees, and other charges can cause the actual cost to differ from what is online. A good rule of thumb is that an American Standard unit will cost somewhere between $6,000 and $13,000.

For a Rheem unit, you can expect the installed price to land somewhere between $3,000 and $4,000. Of course, things like additional ductwork or other types of modifications can cause your price to be higher than the estimate.

Be prepared to pay a disposal fee if you are replacing an old unit.

Related: How Much Does an American Standard Furnace Cost?

American Standard offers a limited warranty that will replace malfunctioning parts or components due to manufacturer defects. The limited warranty provided may be as short as one year or as long as the life of the unit. Customers are required to register their American Standard unit within 60 days of purchase to be fully covered.

American Standard warranties are no longer transferable as of January 2021.

Rheem generally offers a 10-year limited warranty on their parts, including the compressors. The system must be registered within 60 days of purchase to ensure the warranty. However, some lower-end units will only offer a five-year decent Rheem limited warranty. The unit must be purchased through an authorized dealer to ensure a valid warranty.

As a general rule, Rheem does not offer any extended warranties, but some HVAC dealers will offer their own.

American Standard vs Rheem: Final Showdown

Rheem will be the clear winner if your budget is tight, as you can get a reliable unit installed for under $5,000. However, if you are cooling a home in an extreme climate or expect repairs to be needed more often, you may not like the ongoing costs of a Rheem AC unit. Reviewers complain of the costliness of repairs negating the initial savings.

When it comes to customer service, American Standard takes the cake. Rheem’s website will direct you to contact a local dealer, while American Standard offers a chat box and a phone number on the home page.

Both companies perform well overall and have been in the game for decades. If you want to see how American Standard stacks up with another top HVAC supplier, check out our Lennox vs. American Standard AC comparison.

Editorial Contributors
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Matt Greenfield

Matt Greenfield is an experienced writer specializing in home improvement topics. He has a passion for educating and empowering homeowners to make informed decisions about their properties. Matt's writing focuses on a range of topics, including windows, flooring, HVAC, and construction materials. With a background in construction and home renovation, Matt is well-versed in the latest trends and techniques in the industry. His articles offer practical advice and expert insights that help readers tackle their home improvement projects with confidence. Whether you're a DIY enthusiast or a seasoned professional, Matt's writing is sure to provide valuable guidance and inspiration.

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