Rheem vs Carrier: an air conditioner comparison guide

With numerous brands out there it can be overwhelming deciding what air conditioner is right for you. Learn about Rheem vs Carrier.

Decide today on Rheem vs Carrier air conditioners. "However Long the Night" by jenny downing on Flickr.Purchasing an air conditioning unit that will effectively cool your home and help you save on your energy bills can be a challenging project. Unless you are an HVAC expert or engineer, it can be extremely difficult to know which manufacturer or even which line by a specific manufacturer will work best for your home. If you have successfully narrowed down your air conditioner search to a Rheem or Carrier model, then a Rheem vs Carrier comparison guide can help you make an informed decision about which system will be best for your home cooling.

The first thing you need to do is to detail and compare the features and the efficiency ratings of each model against current air conditioner prices..

If you wish to buy a home-cooling system that will not only help reduce your monthly energy bills, but also withstand weathering, requesting an air conditioner estimate from different contractors can help you find a durable air conditioner priced within your budget.

Rheem air conditioners

Seen here is Rheem Prestige Series: 2-Stage Serial Communicating air conditioner.Rheem has been in some form of the HVAC business since brothers Richard and Donald Rheem acquired a galvanizing plant in San Francisco in the mid-1920s and started manufacturing water heaters. In the 1960s, the company expanded into manufacturing, selling and servicing air conditioning systems for residential and commercial applications.

Today, consumers can choose from three lines of residential air conditioning systems through Rheem:

  • The Value Series
  • The Classic Series
  • The Prestige Series

The Value Series (as the name implies) is the lower-end series when it comes to cost. That doesn’t translate to lower performance standards, however. There are three models in the series, two of which are single-stage units and one of which is a two-stage unit. The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating for units in this series range from 16 to 17 (13 is the minimum SEER rating currently allowed for most building and housing codes).

The Classic Series is the mid-range line of units. There are two single-stage units in this series and they deliver efficiency ratings upwards of 16 on the SEER scale.

The Prestige Series features one single-stage unit, two separate 2-stage units and two, 2-stage units with Rheem’s Comfort Control2 System with serial communication. This system allows you to auto-configure your AC to pre-set times and temperatures. Units in this series have SEER ratings ranging from 16 to 19.5. This series also comes with a two-stage scroll compressor to increase your energy efficiency and reduce the humidity in your home.

All Rheem units carry with them the ENERGY STAR rating. ENERGY STAR is a voluntary program established and monitored by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that grants ENERGY STAR status on consumer products meeting high standards for energy efficiency and lower carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions.

Rheem offers a conditional 10-year warranty on the compressors for all of these units. There is also a 10-year limited warranty on all other parts, except for the Classic Series. The Classic Series carries a 5-year limited parts warranty. The Prestige Series features a 5-year conditional total unit replacement warranty for the single-stage model and a 10-year conditional total unit replacement warranty for its 2-stage models. 

Inquire to a contractor now on Rheem vs Carrier air conditioners!

Carrier air conditioners

Carrier Infinity 21 Air Conditioner 24ANB1Among the highest-rated names in the home-cooling industry, Carrier offers a variety of premium AC units that will help you maintain energy-efficient. Many consider the company the standard bearer for residential air conditioning ever since the Willis Carrier (the company founder) invented the first modern air conditioning system in the U.S. in 1902. Over its proud history, the company has developed and introduced a wide range of commercial and residential air conditioners, heating systems and refrigeration solutions into the market.

Carrier air conditioners (like Rheem systems) come in three distinct product lines:

  • The Comfort Series
  • The Performance Series
  • The Infinity Series

The Carrier series of models improves incrementally with each ascending line (and with it comes a corresponding increase in prices you’ll pay.)

Carrier’s Comfort Series is for buyers on a budget. These air conditioners will get you in at a lower price point without totally compromising on performance. You can find units in this line with SEER ratings starting at 15. These units are compact, economical and very efficient.

Carrier's Performance Series is a classic mid-range line of air conditioners that are a little larger, a little more durable and a little more expensive. Within this line you can find units with SEER ratings topping 18. They're also designed to outlast most comparably performing air conditioning units on the market.

Carrier’s top-end Infinity series offers everything you’d expect from top-of-the line air conditioning units. SEER ratings of up to 21 can be found in this line and they have units that generate as little as 65 decibels (barely a whisper) of ambient noise when running. This line can also help homeowners qualify for $1,000 to $1,500 in energy efficiency rebates and credits.

Unlike Rheem, not all Carrier air conditioners in these three lines carry the ENERGY STAR label. There are three standard models available in the Comfort line, only one of which carries the ENERGY STAR designation. Two of the four units in the Performance series carry the ENERGY STAR designation while three out of the four in the Infinity Series do.

The compressors and condensers for all of these units carry a limited 10-year warranty. The two top-line units also have a limited 10-year unit replacement warranty while all others carry a limited 5-year unit replacement warranty.

One other oddity to note from numerous online comments: Carrier's air conditioners feature coloring on the buttons sometimes blends into the background, making it difficult to see which button you are pushing.

A word about costs

HVAC manufacturers rarely put prices on websites. A big reason for this is that prices can vary dramatically from region to region and from model to model. While you may be able to research and get some wholesale-to-contractor prices for the specific unit you have in mind, you will have to then figure your costs for hiring a contractor to install it. (Unless you yourself are a licensed and registered HVAC professional, you will need to have an authorized dealer/contractor install your unit in order to keep all warranties valid.)

This guide can help you with some price comparison for Rheem units while this guide may be of assistance when you are looking to compare Carrier prices. 

If you decide to hire a contractor to install air conditioner equipment, be sure you are clear on what the total cost of installation will be. When considering Rheem vs Carrier, keep in mind how energy costs may rise in the future.

First photo credit: jenny downing via Compfight CC. Second photo: Rheem Prestige Series: 2-Stage Serial Communicating air conditioner. Third photo: Carrier Infinity 21 Air Conditioner 24ANB1.

Free Quotes! Click here to get your air conditioner estimates now!