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  1. #1

    Reputation of Rheem?

    Hi, all. First, thanks for the helpful site.

    I'm replacing a ~26 year old mismatched heat pump unit in central FL. The condenser is 2.5 ton; the air handler is 3 ton. I've had three sales reps from HVAC companies out to give estimates.

    First, I've read on this forum that I should pass on any company that does not do a room-by-room load analysis before recommending a size. None of them so far have -- they've all been salesmen, not technicians. They've asked me the size of my house (1686 sq ft under air), assumed I was right, and two recommended a 3 ton unit for that square footage; one recommended a Trane 2.5 ton unit. He said the 16 SEER variable speed Trane produced more BTUs than the competition and would be sufficient to cool the house. .

    Two have strongly recommended Trane and Lennox and specifically recommended against buying anything else. The third (and the guy I'm inclined to trust most because he's owner & sole operator of his business, and has a 5 star rating on Service Magic even with 65 reviews) said Rheem's 14 SEER variable speed was just as good as Trane's or Lennox's and cost much less. He explained the the Rheem was actually a "step-variable" system (my term, not his) instead of a true variable system, but that it mattered little because most often even the true variable speeds ramp up to 50% and stay there.

    I subscribed to Consumer Reports, but I can't find where they review heat pumps on their website. On furnacecompare.com, Rheem actually has higher user ratings than Lennox or Trane.

    Ok. There's the basic info. My questions are these:

    1. Does Rheem have a good reputation (for longevity, reliability) among HVAC pros? What is it people are paying for when they spend an extra $400-$600 on a comparable Trane or Lennox?

    2. Is it likely that 2.5 tons is sufficient for a 1686 sq ft house, or is that sales guy just blowing smoke to put a lower quote in front of me?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Langley, BC, Canada
    Posts
    384
    Theres no way to tell from here if 2.5 T or 3 T is sufficient enough to cool your house....theres no way around it, you have to have a heat load calc completed. Every house is different. Furthermore, a 2.5T unit is a 2.5T unit, you cant get more BTU's out of it, if you can, then its not a 2.5T unit, its a 3T unit.

    I believe in the RUUD/RHEEM product myself, and you wont be able to find a product review on line for heat pumps/air conditioners.....it really comes down to the quality of the install, not the equipment.....(they all have the same basic components, made by the same manufactures...ssshhhh, dont tell anyone). The "reviews" you see online are for the most part, posted by people who are unhappy with there INSTALL and the performance of there equipment due to.

    Anyways, enough rambling, hope this helps alittle.....I know one of the guys on here has some good articles about picking the right contractor, maybe he will stop by and post them for ya.
    *Proud Member of UA LOCAL 516*

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Eastern PA
    Posts
    68,964
    If 2.5 ton of cooling has been good for you all these years, it will be safe to go with 2.5 ton. The worse thing you can do is to oversize the cooling system due to humidity control issues.

    Rheem has a very good name and builds very good equipment. If the indoor blower the Rheem dealer is suggesting has an X13 ECM motor in it, which is the same motor as a true variable speed motor without the better control system, I would demand that a true variable speed ECM blower be installed and set up for dehumidification.

    Since your current system is 2.5 ton, the duct system is most likely designed for 1,000 cfm of air. The nominal amount of air required for a 3 ton system is 1,200 cfm. Do you really want to try to push more air through the duct system? This usually creates air noise issues as well as static pressure issues which causes system function issues.

    I would go with the 2.5 ton system with a true variable speed indoor blower.
    Government is a disease...
    ...masquerading as its own cure…
    Ecclesiastes 10:2 NIV


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Fairfield county Connecticuit
    Posts
    778
    I like Rheem/RUUD good stuff

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    6,841
    You're right about the benchmark of finding a company that voluntarily does a room-by-room. The main issue is this: Every manufacturer recommends it, the DOE says it's essential, many states require it in their building codes and yet the majority of HVAC companies continue to fail in doing the analysis. So the only conclusion that can be drawn is that those companies are cutting corners. If they won't even do the load properly, how can you expect them to do a stellar job installing? I mean a cheater is a cheater, right? So stop inviting them over. Just pick up the yellow pages or the internet or whatever your is your favorite source of information and start calling. But before you give any information, request some. "How would your company size a replacement system for my home?" The sought answer are, "By load analysis or By Manual 'J' calculation" or some facsimile thereof. If they answer with "By looking at the old system or by the house area or by their vast years of experience in the business", just pass them by; they don't know of what they speak.

    As far as Rheem is concerned, it's every bit as good as RUUD, no better, no worse. And it's as good as any other manufacturer if installed properly.

    You state that you've been comfortable with a 2.5-ton system. But do you really know if you're uncomfortable? I mean, that's a relative term. If you've never experienced true comfort, then you don't miss it. So don't accept a company that cuts corners. Get a professional in there and you'll be glad you did. He may come up with the same load that you've already got, but you'll know he can document it and he's not cutting corners.
    If YOU want change, YOU have to first change.

    If you are waiting for the 'other guy' to change first, just remember, you're the 'other guy's' other guy. To continue to expect real change when you keep acting the same way as always, is folly. Won't happen. Real change will only happen when a majority of the people change the way they vote!

  6. #6
    Thanks, all. I think I'll get a Rheem.

    I should clarify. We just purchased the home. The home inspector recommended replacing the 26 year old HVAC unit, and we've found the existing unit simply cannot cool the house. It runs continually and cannot get the house down to 80* F. Whether the system, when newer, was able to keep the previous occupants cool or not, I can't say.

    If a 2.5 ton will adequately cool our house, I'd prefer it for the energy savings. We are also outdoor air people, when we can be. We open windows in the evening and close up late morning to turn the AC on. We don't leave the house shut up and on AC from April to October, as I know many people here in FL do. I don't know if that means 2.5 ton is more likely to work for us or less likely.

    So the old ducts would be sized for 2.5 tons worth of air, even though the air handler itself is 3 ton? (The condenser is 2.5 ton.)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Eastern PA
    Posts
    68,964
    Just as a matter of open discussion, what benefit comes from doing a room by room analysis of an existing home with an existing duct system?
    Government is a disease...
    ...masquerading as its own cure…
    Ecclesiastes 10:2 NIV


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Eastern PA
    Posts
    68,964
    Quote Originally Posted by jjforshey View Post
    Thanks, all. I think I'll get a Rheem.

    I should clarify. We just purchased the home. The home inspector recommended replacing the 26 year old HVAC unit, and we've found the existing unit simply cannot cool the house. It runs continually and cannot get the house down to 80* F. Whether the system, when newer, was able to keep the previous occupants cool or not, I can't say.

    If a 2.5 ton will adequately cool our house, I'd prefer it for the energy savings. We are also outdoor air people, when we can be. We open windows in the evening and close up late morning to turn the AC on. We don't leave the house shut up and on AC from April to October, as I know many people here in FL do. I don't know if that means 2.5 ton is more likely to work for us or less likely.

    So the old ducts would be sized for 2.5 tons worth of air, even though the air handler itself is 3 ton? (The condenser is 2.5 ton.)
    The capacity of a system is only determined by the capacity of the compressor bearing unit, in this case the outside unit. An air handler capable of 3 ton of capacity would have the air volume and refrigerant metering selected for the 2.5 ton capacity. Many air handlers are designed to work with a variety of system capacities and efficiencies. In actuallity, there is no such thing as a 3 ton air handler or a 3 ton coil, only one that is designed to operate within that capacity range.
    Government is a disease...
    ...masquerading as its own cure…
    Ecclesiastes 10:2 NIV


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    562
    I know a tech that thinks Rheem is the Cadillac of HVAC. I don't care for Cadillacs though. I agree, install takes priority, then equipment. As a tech, I hate working on Tranes and Lennox parts can sometimes be more expenssive (at least in central Ohio). I have an old Rheem, 21 years still running. That doesn't mean they're still awsome. I have worked on a few newer Rheem furnaces and I think they're pretty slick. I work for a Carrier dealer. I think they're pretty nice, easy to work on and RELATIVELY inexpensive to fix.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Pan Handle, Fl
    Posts
    600
    Quote Originally Posted by RoBoTeq View Post
    Just as a matter of open discussion, what benefit comes from doing a room by room analysis of an existing home with an existing duct system?
    Maybe they have time to kill or the customer is pretty. Lol I would ask if there are any rooms that aren't cooling/heating as well as others. Those I would check for adequate supply or return. It seems like there is always that one room that is hotter in summer and colder in winter.
    Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different outcome!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Posts
    1,070
    Rheem make good products, every bit as good as Trane or Lennox. Bear in mind that every manufacturer has a "budget" line. The Rheem 13/14AJx series are Rheem's budget line. Make sure you're comparing each company's budget product or top-of-the-line product for a fair comparison.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    121
    Just as a matter of open discussion, what benefit comes from doing a room by room analysis of an existing home with an existing duct system?
    __________________
    You can find out the required cfm and duct size for each room. If its not right, correct it, if possible.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Milltown NJ
    Posts
    31
    Agreed, the equipment that you are being quoted is all very comparable. I would at least have a block load on the home down before anything else... windows, roof color, and trees have alot to do with your load as to what size the units must be. Good luck and get a fourth contractor that has a good reputation in town to come out and give you a last opinion.

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