Ruud vs Rheem AC Units: Which is Better and Why?

Written by Adam Morris
6 Min read
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Table of contents

In the world of air conditioners, there are two big brands that always seem to be pitted against each other – Ruud and Rheem. But which one is actually the better option?

In this blog post, we’re going to take a look at both brands and see which one comes out on top. We’ll explore the differences between the two and how they stack up in terms of features, prices, and more.

So, if you’re in the market for a new AC unit, read on to find out which one is the better choice. First, though, why don’t we tell you a little more about each brand?

Who are Rheem?

Rheem Manufacturing Company is one of the biggest names in heating and cooling solutions. After starting life fabricating steel drums in 1925 California, the manufacturer quickly grew.

Throughout the 40s and 50s, the brand continued to expand into Europe and Asia, building out its product offering as it went. From steel drums to now creating complex water heaters and clothes dryers.

However, things get really interesting in the 70s as Rheem starts to move into air conditioning. In ’73 they actually acquired one of their competitors in the space and the other brand in focus here, Ruud. Nowadays the Rheem Manufacturing Group is the largest manufacturer of water heating products in North America

Who are Ruud?

So now we know more about Rheem, let’s tell you about Ruud. Being slightly older than Rheem, Ruud also has a long and illustrious history when it comes to manufacturing incredible products.

While we’re focusing on their HVAC chops today, the business originally started as a water heater manufacturer more than 100 years ago.

However, moving into the present day, there’s even less to pick between the two brands as Rheem was eventually bought by Japanese tech titan Paloma Industries in 1988. Although both are now under one larger umbrella company, Ruud and Rheem continue to manufacture a range of high-quality major appliances for home and commercial use.  

Rheem vs Ruud: Head to head

It’s obvious from the above that both brands have wealth of credibility and hundreds of years of experience. But, when push comes to shove and you need a new HVAC system which one should you be picking?

We’ve selected four key areas to focus on for this battle of the best when it comes to air-con. We’ll analyze both brands’ quality, product variety, cost, and warranty to determine which should earn your custom.

Quality

When determining the overall quality of any HVAC system, it’s usually a good starting point to check out each machine’s SEER rating.

The SEER or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio acts as a yardstick to tell you how energy efficient your appliance is. The higher the SEER rating the more efficient your machine. So, you would think this test comes down to the simple matter of figuring out which brand offers the better SEER and giving it the win, right?

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple in this instance. Because each brand boasts a rating of between 16 and 19.5, you can’t really miss when it comes to the efficiency of either. That being said, we know you came here for answers so…

The Rheem actually features a double-coiled design which makes it a lot quieter when running. For that reason, we’re giving this win to Rheem.

Winner: Rheem

Variety

In terms of Rheem vs Ruud air conditioning product lines, there isn’t all that much to choose between them again.

Both brands offer six product lines and each benefit from those years of high-quality build experience.

In fact, the Rheem Prestige Series and Ruud Ultra Series are two of the highest-performing models on the market at the moment.

Winner: Draw

Price

Price is another area where these two brands are relatively similar. But when you dig slightly deeper you can see that Rheem is the more expensive of the two options.

However, there is more to unpack here than just cold cash. While Rheem machines are more expensive, you do have to think back to that point about them also being quieter to run. On the other hand, if you can get similar performance levels, build quality, and reliability from a Ruud as you’d get in a Rheem, you might be thinking that it’s a no-brainer to go with the cheaper option.

Having said all that, you do also have to take into consideration installation costs. Because installation costs can get sky high in certain places and times of the year it definitely pays to get a few free quotations from installation firms to see which one is going to be best. Choosing the wrong option here could end up negating that initial price difference anyway.

Winner: Ruud

Warranty

As you might imagine, because these two brands are essentially made under the same company, there’s little to choose between the respective standard warranty.

Each brand offers up to a 15-year warranty which is perfect for ensuring a long and healthy relationship with your AC.

Winner: Draw

And the winner is?

Technically this one comes back as a 1-1 draw - which is only fair when you consider how good these two brands are at making high-quality appliances. Now, that may not be the definitive answer you were looking for, so why don’t we try to overview this thing?

You won’t go wrong no matter which brand you choose. Ultimately, if you want the blunt answer, the Rheem is probably the better option. Just because of that double-coiled quieter running system.

Yes, you might be able to save yourself a few bucks by going for a Ruud appliance. But with the cost of installation and that louder running noise, is it really worth it? And are you actually saving all that much?

How to buy a good air conditioner

What is clear, whichever one you go for, you’ll be getting a pretty sweet AC. But one thing that will never change is the fact that buying an AC is a big deal.

You can end up spending thousands of dollars on a machine you’ll rely on for up to 15 years. So it’s important to get it right and know what you’re after.

Thankfully, there are some industry standard things to look out for if you want to get a top appliance:

Getting the correct size

Picking the perfect-sized air conditioner for your space is imperative. There are many different shapes and sizes of ACs. Plus, it’s not just about knowing the square footage of your space or how many windows you have. There are plenty of things to consider before jumping in.

Shop around

Get the best deal for you. As we said above, the Ruud models are probably more cost-effective than the Rheem ones. But it’s best to shop around and find the best prices online before committing to a purchase decision.

Know the Energy Star Rating

Make sure you choose a model which has a high SEER score and a decent Energy Star Rating. It’s important to get the most energy-efficient appliance for your home or commercial space. If your AC is working overtime, then you’re going to feel it right in the bills.

Keep it accessible

One of the worst things you can do after purchasing a new AC is putting it somewhere inaccessible. This is especially true of units that feature an exterior condenser.

Your condenser unit should be in an open space where you can easily access it to complete general maintenance. The same goes for your interior unit. Otherwise, it won’t run properly and you may keep seeing the flashing snowflake.

Caring for your AC

Of course, all of this could be rendered moot if you don’t know how to look after your AC system correctly.

Both Ruud and Rheem machines may feature that long warranty, but there’s nothing worse than a misfiring AC when it’s warm out.

There are a number of ways you can look after your machine and even more tips and tricks for how to keep your AC cold. But the main thing is to keep your machine clean. There are a number of components on your appliance that need regular cleaning. From the coils to the condenser you can either maintain these areas yourself or get a professional to come and complete regular checks for you.

Conclusion

When it comes to picking a winner in the battle of Rheem vs Ruud air conditioners, we’d probably say Rheem is the better option. However, the great news for most people who aren’t appliance savvy is: that you can’t miss with either option. Both brands boast years of experience, great warranties, and superior build quality.

Appliances made simple. 

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