If you are doing your research into the HVAC world, you will encounter a dozen or so HVAC brands over and over. In today’s modern world of HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), products must be reliable, relatively efficient to operate, and cost effective.
Two of the most popular brands are Ruud and Rheem, both of which are built in the same facilities in Arkansas. Paloma Industries manufactures products under both the Ruud and Rheem brand names. Generally, Ruud and Rheem products compliment each other in the HVAC marketplace, as opposed to directly competing.
Other HVAC manufacturers you probably know, like Lennox, Goodman, Concord, and Amana offer HVAC products that compete with Ruud and Rheem. Rheem products are well built and offer an excellent reputation for quality and technical innovation. Ruud HVAC products are also well established, and are generally marketed as a less expensive version of Rheem HVAC products.
Here we will compare the main features of these two HVAC brands, Ruud and Rheem, to help you get a feel for which one may be best for your project.
Rheem HVAC Products Overview
Rheem HVAC products are built in their Fort Smith, Arkansas manufacturing facility. You may recognize the Rheem brand name from a water heater as well, which became one of the best selling brands of the 1950’s. Around 1970, Rheem introduced a new line of heat pumps, which were much more energy efficient than previous models, making Rheem a household name.
Rheem HVAC systems are known for:
- Very Good Quality
- Moderate Price
- Popular features, like scroll compressors and EcoNet, which is a phone app used to control the system
- Very Good Energy Efficiency
Rheem HVAC products are widely available from small to large HVAC installation companies, as well as big box stores. Rheem manufactures water heaters as well, including both natural gas and electric tankless versions. Rheem has a half dozen manufacturing facilities, primarily in the southeast and the west coast of the US. Rheem is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.
Rheem HVAC products remain competitive in the marketplace, and are known for cutting edge technology, quality, and dependability. Rheem HVAC products generally provide established and tested features, which is one reason the products are so dependable and repairable.
In most circumstances, a customer would choose a Rheem HVAC system for their home when they need very good quality, dependability, and energy efficiency from their HVAC system. Some of the higher end models will compete directly with Carrier and Lennox, considered two top tier brands.
Ruud HVAC Products Overview
Ruud HVAC products are manufactured mostly at the Rheem facility in Fort Smith, Arkansas, just as Rheem products are. Ruud HVAC products are manufactured by Rheem and have been for over sixty years. Ruud HVAC products are known for their low to moderate price and very good quality. Ruud HVAC products range in energy efficiency from 13 SEER to 20 SEER, making them both affordable and energy efficient.
Ruud HVAC systems are known for:
- Good to Very Good Quality
- Low to Medium Cost
- Recognizable Brand Name
- Scroll Compressors
- Excellent Warranties, Especially On Heat Exchangers
Ruud HVAC products are one of the best values you can find in an HVAC system because they are built very well, yet are relatively inexpensive to both install and own. This is possible due to the economy of scale provided by the large scale Rheem manufacturing facilities.
Most (if not all) Ruud HVAC products use scroll compressors, which are more efficient and last longer than standard and two-stage compressors. Scroll compressors use the pressure remaining in the system to move the refrigerant even as the compressor is shutting off. Over time, this reduces the wear on the compressor, which is the most commonly replaced part.
Ruud HVAC systems are commonly found on spec homes, remodeling projects, and other projects where low cost is a driving factor. Ruud HVAC products are well built, easy to repair, and tend to be less expensive to own due to the scroll compressor and high SEER rating found on many models.
Read our detailed review of Ruud air conditioners.
Rheem vs Ruud: Value Comparison
Rheem and Ruud have excellent reputations for offering products that are both cost-effective to own and operate. Most models in both product lines will offer a 13-20 SEER rating, with a higher SEER rating representing higher energy efficiency. Both Rheem and Ruud are comparable in function and features, but Rheem HVAC products tend to be quieter than Ruud products.
Overall, Rheem will be considered the best value for the money when compared to Ruud, due to the quieter operation achieved by its double coil system. Both Rheem and Ruud will be priced similarly for similar features, so the choice often comes down to personal taste. If endorsements are important, Forbes recently named Rheem one of the best HVAC systems you can buy.
Ruud vs. Rheem: Durability Comparison
Ruud and Rheem both have excellent reputations for durability because they are essentially the same product. Both use Copeland scroll compressors almost exclusively, which are an upgrade over standard and two-stage compressors in durability and energy efficiency.
Both Ruud and Rheem are often considered middle tier brands, but both offer models that can compete with more expensive, top tier brands in technology and performance. For example, brands such as Carrier and Trane will usually be more expensive than Rheem, yet Rheem ranks among the top five HVAC brands in 2022.
Ruud vs Rheem: Compressor Comparison
Both brands use Copeland scroll compressors for their durability, serviceability, and efficiency. Scroll compressors control the coolant in an HVAC system, and the more efficiently they operate, the better. Standard compressors are either on or off, so they tend to move the coolant less efficiently. Scroll compressors ramp up and ramp down, saving energy and wear over time.
For this reason, you really can’t go wrong with either Ruud or Rheem if system efficiency is high on your wish list. In combination with the scroll compressor, both brands offer highly energy efficient systems, with some offering a SEER rating of 20. Most building codes only require a minimum of SEER rating of 16 to comply with energy efficiency requirements, so a SEER rating 20 is more efficient and will cost less to operate over time.
Ruud vs Rheem: Cost Comparison
Ruud HVAC System Average Cost: $5,077.00
Here are five real world price comparisons, located from the east coast to the midwest United States:
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Rheem HVAC System Average Cost: 6,350.00
Rheem HVAC systems tend to range in price from $5100.00 to $7600.00, depending on the features and energy efficiency of the system. Many models incorporate the EcoNet control system, which allows the user to control the system remotely from a phone app. Rheem HVAC products often have sophisticated features, hence the price difference.
Read more about the cost of a Rheem AC unit.
Average Cost to Purchase and Install Compared to Other Brands
Generally, both Ruud and Rheem products are considered moderately priced and comparable with each other. One is not considered “cheap” compared to the other, but you will find a few differences from model to model. In most markets, both Ruud and Rheem will be priced around 5% less than a comparable Carrier or Trane model.
From a marketing perspective, most companies will carry either Ruud or Rheem, depending on the local competition. For example, if a local Home Depot promotes Rheem HVAC products, the smaller local HVAC companies might offer Ruud instead. Doing so allows them to compete equally on features, without directly competing on price.
Rheem vs Ruud: Warranty Comparison
Rheem HVAC products carry a 5-10 year limited warranty, depending on the product. Most Rheem HVAC products use Copeland scroll compressors, and warrant them for 10 years, although the customer usually pays for the labor. With some higher end models, a conditional lifetime warranty is available on certain parts, like the primary and secondary heat exchangers.
The standard Ruud limited warranty is also 5-10 years, however as with Rheem, the scroll compressor carries a 10 year limited warranty, the heat exchanger carries a 20 year limited warranty, and on some models, the heat exchanger(s) is warranted for as long as you own it.
Ruud vs Rheem: Final Showdown
As a consumer, you really can’t go wrong with either Ruud or Rheem HVAC products. Generally, the most obvious difference between the two brands is the name badge. In most repair instances, parts are interchangeable, making repairability excellent for both brands. Both products have reputations for quality and value, especially when compared to more expensive HVAC brands.
Which Is Better: Ruud Or Rheem?
Both Ruud and Rheem will offer years of hassle-free operation with proper maintenance. Both brands are priced competitively and have similar features because the differences in the products are mostly done for marketing purposes.
A Rheem or Ruud HVAC system will be an asset for your home, so you really can’t make a wrong decision. If quiet operation is your most important feature, Rheem is hard to beat. In a feature vs. price comparison, Ruud will win most of the time. Do your research, ask lots of questions, and you’ll be pleased with your purchase either way.