Rheem/Ruud Air Conditioner Prices

Rheem and Ruud brand air conditioners are one of the examples of air conditioners being exactly the same but sold under the same brand. Just like in some countries cars are branded differently but exactly the same otherwise, Rheem and Ruud don’t have any differences other than the branding and the way they are distributed.

As such, we have put both the Ruud air conditioner unit prices and Rheem air conditioner prices in one handy guide.

Rheem is the manufacturer. They have their HQ in Atlanta, and are known for both water and air related products including heaters and, of course, air conditioners.

The company was founded in CA way back in 1925 by the Rheem brothers and is still called the Rheem Manufacturing Company as it was back then. Naturally, the product range has grown a huge amount in that time. They claim to be the only manufacturer in the world to offer such a range of products, spanning “heating, cooling, water heating, pool & spa heating and commercial refrigeration products”

Though it is the largest manufacturer of water heating products in the whole of America, the brand’s air conditioning range is widely respected. It is middle of the road in terms of price, and far from the most expensive range on the market. On top of this, Rheem works with its own network of suppliers, the Pro Partners. Which they describe as being “held to the highest standards of customer service, professional training, and expertise.” Their suppliers are held to independently verified reviews, and if these dip below four stars out of five then they are not worked with anymore.

Ruud vs Rheem Product Names

When we say the units are the same, we mean it, too. Rheem and Ruud logos are only added after the products have been created.

In spite of being identical, there are some naming differences between the product ranges. The Ruud products are described as the Ultra Series, the Achiever Series or Value Series. In the Rheem parallel, they are split into Classic and Prestige models. That said, they have the same model numbers, so it is easy to find the same product in each brand. The RA20, for example, is the highest SEER product in both ranges.

Rheem/Ruud Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Rheem and Ruud have pretty good warranties. A parts warranty of 10 years is available on even the entry-level warranty, the RA13. Some other brands only offer five-year warranties for the same quality product.
  • The brands offer PlusOne technology which is designed to help you with the servicing of the product, by making this easier it is also more affordable for the consumer once the time comes for servicing.
  • On Classic Plus or Prestige air conditioners, the warranty means that the air conditioner is eligible for replacement, not just repair, if it breaks within 10 years. The warranty must be registered with the company for this to be eligible within 30 days of the unit being installed. Don’t forget to do so or you may not get this privilege.
  • Rheem and Ruud are on the cheaper end of the market in terms of the price of buying the unit.
  • There are no single-stage compressors used in these ranges. This means that whichever you opt for, some level of power saving is available by the multiple power options the compressor can give you.
  • Pro Partners programme of registered installers, these are “held to the highest standards of customer service, professional training, and expertise.”

Cons

  • There are only six models to choose from within the range, whereas other brands such as Lennox and Trane offer far more options when it comes to air conditioning units.
  • None of the units are super high SEER. Products such as the Lennox xc25 offer up to 26 SEER, whereas the highest the Ruud and Rheem brands can go with the RA20 is 20 SEER. The efficiency, as a result, is not as high. Other brands can offer 20-30% more efficiency, which will be far cheaper to run.
  • Only one product with a variable speed compressor (also the RA20 model).

Rheem and Ruud AC Units and Prices

Model Name

Unit Only

Installed

Running Cost

(based on 2.5 ton)

Ruud Ultra /

Rheem Prestige RA20

$1,835

$3,375

$518

Ruud Achiever /

Rheem Classic Plus RA17

$1,450

$2,780

$569

Ruud Achiever /

Rheem Classic RA16

$1,300

$2,305

$603

Ruud Achiever /

Rheem Classic RA14

$1,075

$2,200

$654

Ruud Achiever /

Rheem Classic RA13

$989

$2,137

$673

We’ve created a table as a simple Ruud/Rheem AC overview. This is just designed to be a guide and some figures are estimated. Naturally, depending where you are in the USA, your costs might be higher or lower. Local installers may be able to offer cheaper prices, or they may be more expensive. The above will give you a good idea of an average price.

So that the comparison is all done on similar tonnage units, we’ve measured based on 2.5-ton units. This also assumes the $0.13/kWh average power cost. This is all based around a home of between 1400 feet and 1800 feet (sq). If your home is different, this should be taken into consideration, but the above will show which products are cheaper to install and run nonetheless.

When the term “Tons” is used, it isn’t referring to weight. Instead, this is a measurement of BTUS which the air conditioner removes per hour. It has nothing to do with the actual mass of the unit as you may think at first glance.

If you are looking for a Rheem/Ruud air conditioner replacement cost, you won’t have to figure out the cost of any ductwork. However, ducting is something that you need, and if it doesn’t already exist, you may be looking at a cost of $6-12 per square foot of ducting in your property. A 1500 sqft home can mean spending over $1500 just for ductwork.

Unit Model

​Capacity

(Tons)

SEER

(Efficiency)

Sound (dB)

Compressor

Ruud Ultra /

Rheem Prestige RA20

2-5

20

55 dB

Variable

Ruud Achiever /

Rheem Classic Plus RA17

2-5

17

58 dB

Two Stage

Ruud Achiever /

Rheem Classic RA17 (NC)*

2-3

17

58 dB

Two Stage

Ruud Achiever /

Rheem Classic RA16

1.5-5

16

69 dB

Two Stage

Ruud Achiever /

Rheem Classic RA14**W

1.5-5

16

70 dB

Two Stage

Ruud Achiever /

Rheem Classic RA14

1.5-5

16

65 dB

Two Stage

Ruud Achiever /

Rheem Classic RA13

1.5-5

13

72 dB

Two Stage

The table above shows the full range including their capacities, noise in decibels, SEER and the type of compressor. The SEER rating is a useful measurement which shows how efficient the product is. It is an easy way to compare to other brands, as these will also have SEER ratings.

The majority of the range offers 1.5-5 ton capacities or alternatively 2-5 ton capacities. These are the two most common ranges available in the whole industry for capacities.

All but one product in the range are Two-Stage compressors. Two-stage compressors mean that they can function at two different speeds or power levels depending on what is required. This is more efficient than a single-stage model which can either be ‘on’ or ‘off’ with no varying levels. A variable compressor is the most efficient due to the ability to adjust to conditions and not overuse power. The RA20 is the only model in the list that fits this bill.

Choosing a Unit For You

As you can see from the tables, the Ruud Ultra/Rheem Prestige RA20 is the most expensive on the market, but this comes from the fact that it has the most features. It is the only product which offers a variable speed compressor, which can mean a significant saving in the running cost. If your air conditioner gets a lot of use and is vital for your home or business, it might be worth investing in the RA20.

The RA20 also has the added benefits of PlusOne Expanded Valve Space for easy servicing. The curved louver panels mean that the coil is well protected and this means a far longer life span for your compressor if it is treated right and adequately maintained. The EcoNet Smart Home System is also included, and this gives you the ability to control your air conditioner from your smartphone or tablet or through a smart thermostat.

On the cheaper end of the market, the Ruud Achiever/Rheem Classic RA14 or RA16 could be a good option. They can be a significant saving in terms of the initial cost and the relatively affordable price of the unit installation. However, if you are using the unit on a regular basis then the extra cost to run it may negate this initial saving.