Rheem Heat Pump Review: Pros, Cons, Performance and Top Picks

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Last updated: 
June 15, 2019

This Rheem heat pump review includes Rheem pros and cons, performance and the best Rheem heat pump in good, better and best options. Use it as a Rheem heat pump buyers guide to compare this brand’s offerings with others you are considering.

There are currently five Rheem heat pump models, as this leading manufacturer has consolidated its lineup from the nine models it sold as recently as 2013. The transition introduced two new Rheem heat pumps while eliminating redundant models. It’s now easier to choose the right heat pump for your situation, but your choice is limited.

the subject of the rheem heat pump review

Rheem Heat Pump Brand Overview

Rheem has three series from good to best. The three Rheem Classic heat pumps, 14, RP14-F and RP15, are single-stage models up to 16 SEER air conditioning efficiency and 9.0 HSPF heating efficiency. The single Rheem Classic Plus heat pump, RP17, offers up to 18.5 SEER and 10.5 HSPF. It is one of the few three-stage models on the market. The single Rheem Prestige heat pump is the RP20, featuring a variable-speed or modulating scroll compressor that delivers up to 20 SEER and 13 HSPF.

Rheem was an independent brand since its founding in 1930 by the Rheem brothers. In 1960, Rheem bought Ruud, and today the brands make an identical lineup of HVAC components. The company was recently acquired by Paloma Industries of Nagoya, Japan. Paloma decided to simplify the lineup of available models.

Rheem Heat Pump Technical Specifications

Let’s break down the specs of the three Rheem heat pump lines:

  • Rheem Classic heat pumps are single-stage models, so they run at full capacity all the time. That can lead to slight overheating in winter and overcooling in summer.
  • The Classic RP14-F is a dual fuel heat pump, which means that it can be installed in a split system with a gas furnace. The pump will provide heat until outside temperatures drop below freezing, at which time the system will automatically switch to the furnace for heat.
  • The Classic Plus RP17 heat pump offers performance by using low, medium and high compressor capacity levels to deliver the amount of heating and cooling required, an operation that also improves efficiency significantly.
  • The Rheem Prestige RP20 heat pump includes a variable-capacity Copeland Scroll compressor that speeds up and slows down in very small increments to produce the most precise and efficient heating and air conditioning.
  • All Rheem heat pump models include composite base pans that reduce noise and won’t rust.
  • The Classic Plus and Prestige models support Rheem EcoNet technology that coordinates the components to ensure optimal performance, though it requires the Rheem EcoNet thermostat that starts at about $260.
  • Many utility companies offer energy rebates for installing an energy-efficient heat pump.

Pros and Cons of Rheem Heat Pumps

Here are the top reasons to buy a Rheem heat pump:

The three series and efficiency levels give you the opportunity to select a model based on your climate or budget.

  • The RP20 with 20 SEER and 13.0 HSPF is as efficient or more efficient than current top models from Trane heat pumps (VX20i) and Carrier heat pumps (Infinity 20-25VNAO) with the same level of climate control, as well as Goodman heat pumps.
  • The RP14-F is a dual fuel model, and dual fuel heating is the most efficient split system heating in very cold climates.
  • Rheem heat pumps are rated among the top ten brands for reliability. With proper care, a Classic Plus or Prestige heat pump will last 20+ years.
  • Rheem’s louvered cabinet panels serve the dual function of allowing excellent ventilation while also protecting the fragile condensing coil fins.
  • Most Rheem heat pump models include a Copeland Scroll compressor, perhaps the most reliable compressor available.
  • Your contractor will be able to size a Rheem heat pump to your home because units are available from 1.5 ton/18,000 BTU to 5.0 ton/60,000 BTU.

There are a few potential disadvantages to consider before choosing a Rheem heat pump:

  • While 20 SEER/13 HSPF ratings of the Rheem RP20 are very good, the Lennox XP25 (23.5 SEER) is slightly more efficient and might be a better choice for extremely warm climates.
  • Reducing the lineup to just five models has eliminated a few popular performance/efficiency combinations like 2-stage/16 SEER and 2-stage/18 SEER models. Customers have more choices with Trane/American Standard (8), Carrier/Bryant (17) and Lennox.
  • Your Rheem heat pump must be installed by a qualified, experienced contractor to ensure its best performance, efficiency and durability. That is applicable to all heat pump brands.

Things to Consider After the Rheem Heat Pump Review

There are a few important issues that will help you decide which Rheem heat pump is right for you. First, do you plan to live in your current home long-term? If not, then choosing an affordable Rheem Classic model is the most affordable short-term choice.

If you plan to stay where you are, then the unit you install should be more efficient the warmer your climate is. In moderate climates, the Rheem RP14 or RP15 will serve you well. Those are also good units for part-time locations like a vacation home or workshop.

Where summers are very hot, consider the RP17 or RP20. If your winters are very cold, consider a Rheem furnace instead. See our Rheem furnace review here. Another option is the Rheem RP14-F, the dual fuel model, in addition to a gas furnace. The furnace takes the place of the air handler. If you choose dual fuel, keep in mind that more efficient dual fuel heat pumps like the Lennox XP25 and Armstrong Air 4SHP20LX are available, though at a significantly higher upfront cost. These units will cut energy use and costs over the long haul.

The conclusion is that Rheem heat pumps are dependable and reasonably priced – a good value. Have you owned a Rheem heat pump? Let us know which one and whether it was dependable and durable. Are you considering buying one? Leave your comments here to assist other readers, and if you have questions, don't hesitate to email us. If this Rheem heat pump review has been helpful, would it benefit your Facebook friends and other social media followers? We appreciate you passing it along.

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