When we look for something, we often end up comparing two products. When we put them side by side, we can have a complete image of the two and eventually make a decision. Today’s dilemma is choosing between American Standard and Rheem. Which one is better? Please keep reading to discover why answering this question is not as easy as it sounds.
Page Table of Contents
Who is American Standard? What about Rheem?
American Standard’s history goes way back to 1929 when American Radiator (the company made cast iron radiators) and Standard Sanitary Manufacturing Company (it made plumbing) joined forces. Ingersoll Rand bought American Standard in 2008 and today, the company’s sister, Trane, produces the same lines in the same factory.
It was 1925 when Rheem made water heating systems and only in the 50s did the company start to create air conditioning and HVAC systems. Rheem also makes water heaters, pool and spa heaters, softeners, and commercial refrigeration products.
Both brands have a strong reputation in their market and offer unique products with outstanding efficiency, durability, and overall performance.
Which is better: American Standard or Rheem?
American Standard offers affordable heating and AC units, and together with Trane, its products are some of the most expensive on the market. Partly it’s because of the high installation costs. On a side note, only certified and American Standard-approved contractors can install American Standard products. It’s not the case with Rheem, which is one of the few HVAC manufacturers that doesn’t require installers to be factory authorized.
We want to remind you that the installation process is crucial for your HVAC equipment performance. No matter which brand you buy, you should never skimp on the installation by hiring an uncertified technician.
American Standard units go through detailed testing in harsh environments. If you live in extreme climates, many professionals recommend buying American Standard. Mobile and small homeowners should also opt for American Standard, as the units have a smaller footprint than units from other brands.
If you look for units with good build and reliable performance, you can consider American Standard. However, be aware that they’re not the most energy-efficient units on the market. For instance, the highest energy efficiency for an American Standard AC unit has a 22 SEER rating—Lennox’s top unit has a 28 SEER rating. Noise level is an aspect that you might want to examine, especially if you live in an area with strict regulations on noise. American Standard’s air conditioners do need improvement when it comes to noise levels during operation.
Despite the minor downside of the running noise, many customers prefer American Standard systems to Rheem. For one, the American Standard units have a lower risk of mechanical issues down the road. You should expect your American Standard system to last up to 25 years with proper maintenance and servicing.
Rheem’s HVAC equipment offers middle-of-the-road performance. Besides the oil furnaces, Rheem’s products don’t stand out with high SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) or AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) ratings. The units run rather loud, which it’s also valid for American Standard units. There is one aspect where Rheem does make an excellent impression: the company is committed to decreasing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% and achieving zero waste by 2025. Rheem will also develop a line of water heating and HVAC systems that reduce the gas footprint by at least 50%.
American Standard vs. Rheem—the in-depth comparison
No air conditioner will be best for your home if it doesn’t meet your cooling needs, house’s specific, budget limitations, etc. We will give you a detailed examination of products from both brands so that you can pick and decide which one is better for you.
American Standard produces seven central air conditioner models. The two platinum models have AccuComfort, which helps the system adjust to run at the most efficient speed; the units come with decent SEER ratings. The four models within the Silver series are single-stage, whereas the Gold series model is two stages. The latter is also Energy-Star certified.
Here are the main features of American Standard air conditioners:
- There are single, two, and variable speed options
- The SEER rating can get as high as 22
- Platinum models come with AccuComfort technology
- You can have an all-weather cover to protect the units from the elements.
On the other hand, Rheem manufactures 11 air central air conditioners with a SEER rating of 20.5 to 13. As you can see, American Standard’s air conditioners have a higher SEER rating. The top-of-the-line Rheem air conditioners are variable-speed RA20 and RA17 units (both Econet enabled). If you opt to add Econet Smart Thermostat, you can accurately control your unit through remote control and voice-controlled through Alexa and similar.
The features for Rheem air conditioners are:
- SEER rating up to 20.5
- Copeland Scroll compressors (the best in the industry)
- Solid build
- You can use the premium units with Econet technology
American Standards offers clients eight heat pumps, three featuring the AccuComfort technology. You can improve the heat pumps’ efficiency by pairing them with the furnace. This way, you will be able to switch from electricity to gas. The features of American Standard heat pumps are:
- SEER rating up to 20
- Platinum models have AccuComfort technology
- The models come in single, two, or variable speed
- You can protect the units from the elements with all-weather cover
There are also eight heat pumps to choose from, Rheem. The most representative heat pump model resembles its top-of-the-line air conditioner and reaches a 21.95 SEER rating. As in the AC series, the most efficient options (there are two) are Econet enabled, which ensures excellent energy efficiency. Rheem has two Select models, one Prestige and the others fall in the Classic series.
Here are the features to expect with Rheem heat pumps:
- Long-lasting build
- Copeland Scroll compressors
- The premium models can pair with Econet technology
- You can choose between one, two,three-stage, and variable speed models
The variety of American Standard furnaces is generous and you can have your pick out of 12 models. The Platinum 95 is the most efficient option (97.3% AFUE rating), whereas the single-stage S8B1 sits on the other end with an 80% AFUE rating. Most premium furnaces allow pairing to heat pumps so that you can use a hybrid system. American Standard furnaces’ features are:
- Single-stage, two-stage heating
- SEER rating up to 97.3%
- Ability to connect to heat pumps (some models)
- Some models have heat exchangers with a lifetime warranty
If you thought you had many options with American Standard, you might think twice, as Rheem offers 15 gas furnaces and two oil models. The oil furnaces reach 86.5% AFUE ratings, above 80%. The gas furnaces have higher AFUE ratings, up to 98%.
All Rheem furnaces come with Rheem’s proprietary PlusOne Ignition System and some units are Econet enabled. Therefore, you can control them by app or voice. Here are the features of Rheem furnaces:
- Dependable direct spark ignition
- Maximum energy savings on most models
- There are both gas and oil models
- Premium models are compatible with Econet technology
American Standard makes air conditioners, heat pumps, and furnaces but sells air handles, packaged systems, thermostats, and coils. Choosing from a line of indoor air quality systems: whole-home air filtration, several humidifiers, and two ventilators are possible, whereas commercial customers can purchase American Standard split system units and packaged units.
Similarly, Rheem doesn’t make just heat pumps, air conditioners, and furnaces. The company also sells cooling coils, air handlers, and mini-splits. The list continues with water heaters, thermostats, pool and spa heaters, indoor air quality equipment, and even water softeners.
Even if American Standard lists prices for products online, you should remember that several aspects (size of the house, where you live, local sellers’ deals, etc.) will impact the final costs. According to the website prices, you should expect to pay:
- Between $5,800 and $12,800 for air conditioners
- Between $3,400 and $8,000 for furnace
- Between $5,800 and $11,600 for a heat pump.
The prices also cover the average installation spending. We also remind you that American Standard has financing and occasional promotions (zero interest, for instance). Don’t forget about the installation fee from your local HVAC dealer.
Rheem doesn’t list the prices on the website, but most customers agree that the products have reasonable prices that start around $3,000 with installation. Rheem air conditioner prices start as low as $990, but installation fees will increase the final spending. After installation, you will pay between $3,000 and $4,000 for a Rheem air conditioner.
Unlike American Standard, Rheem products have a significant risk for breakdowns under immense workloads. Repairs can get expensive as the generic parts aren’t compatible with Rheem products. Even if you save a buck upfront, you will spend more than American Standard for maintenance and repairs.
Which one should you choose?
You’re the only one who can decide if American Standard or Rheem is better for you and your home.
You should buy American Standard if:
- You live in a harsh climate
- You want to play it safe and go with a long-time and highly reputed manufacturer
- You have a small or mobile home
Similarly, opt for Rheem if:
- Your budget is tight
- You only use occasionally HVAC systems
- You care deeply for the environment.
This video reviews the most well known HVAC brands and sorts them into tiers: