Lennox Air Conditioner Vs. Rheem: Which To Choose?

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Choosing an air conditioning unit for your home can be a daunting task. After all, this appliance will be responsible for your family's comfort for several years to come. If you've been diligently searching for a new AC unit, you may have come across the Rheem and Lennox brands—both known for their top-notch products. But which one should you choose? We've done the research to give you the answer.

Both Lennox and Rheem have established a solid reputation for their high-quality, reliable, and efficient air conditioner products. In terms of energy efficiency, performance, and a variety of models to choose from, Lennox pulls ahead of Rheem. However, Rheem offers more economical options if you're on a strict budget. 

Remember that your brand choice will ultimately depend on your unique needs and preferences. To help you make the right decision, we'll take an in-depth look into the comparisons between Lennox and Rheem air conditioners and explore other related information.

Gray Lennox air conditioning units outside the house, Lennox Air Conditioner Vs. Rheem: Which To Choose

Comparison Between Lennox and Rheem Air Conditioners

For many years, both Lennox and Rheem have dominated the market for HVAC systems. Their cooling systems have been rated highly by homeowners and HVAC experts alike. Of course, models from each brand are not without their shortcomings.

Air conditioning units mounted on small concrete stands

Here, we'll explore the different factors that belong to the criteria for determining the quality of an air conditioning unit. We'll compare Lennox against Rheem in different aspects so you can see where they pull ahead of the competition and where they fall short.

This way, you can assess which factors are most important to you, and it will help make your decision-making process easier.

Energy Efficiency

A gray color air conditioning units outside a house

The energy efficiency of an air conditioning unit is typically measured by its SEER rating. The higher the SEER rating, the less electricity is required for it to operate. So not only does a unit with a high SEER rating help cut down costs on your energy bills, but it also allows you to lessen your carbon footprint since it's more eco-friendly by nature.

Lennox High-efficiency Models

Lennox ranks at the top of the competition when it comes to energy efficiency - even against other brands. The brand has become massively popular for its advancements in energy-efficient models, with their best model boasting a SEER rating of 26. The average SEER rating for the rest of their models is 17, which is still quite high compared to Rheem's models.

Lennox also has the most energy-efficient two-stage and single-stage air conditioners on the market: the Elite Series Lennox XC20 and the Lennox SL18XC1. They have a SEER rating of 20 and 18.5, respectively.

Rheem High-efficiency Models

That said, Rheem does hold its own as far as energy efficiency is concerned. The brand's AC units are Energy Star-certified, which means they've met the standards for high energy efficiency and low carbon emissions.

The Prestige Series RA20 has the highest SEER rating among Rheem's models, with a SEER rating of 20. Other models' SEER ratings range from 13 to 17.

Winner: Lennox

Features

Both Lennox and Rheem models come with features that make them high-quality and easy to use. They both offer advanced cooling and improve air quality, so when it comes to basic features you want in an air conditioner, either choice is wise.

Here are a few of the most important features these brands have to offer:

1. Humidity control

Rheem has exceptional humidity control with monitoring software and variable speed compressors that can eliminate moisture from the air. Lennox also has the Climate IQ technology designed for this specific purpose.

2. Smart thermostat

This feature allows you to monitor and control your temperatures easily through your devices. Rheem has the EcoNet Smart Thermostat, while Lennox offers the iComfort S30.

3. Scroll compressor

Both Lennox and Rheem's units have scroll compressors which make them more reliable and energy-efficient. These compressors also ensure quieter operation to prevent excess noise from the appliance. This is why both brands are known for exceptionally low noise levels.

Winner: Tie

Performance

Both Lennox and Rheem offer models with three types of compressors.

These include:

  • Single-stage compressor: Operates only at full capacity
  • Double-stage compressor: Operates at full capacity and at 60-70% capacity. Has two speed settings: high and low.
  • Variable-stage compressor: Operates at full capacity to as low as 25-30% full capacity, Has three or more speed settings.

The advantage of a variable-stage compressor is that it saves energy by adapting to your cooling needs. It can operate at a low capacity when the weather is cool and amp up its capacity in small increments as the temperature rises. This results in a noticeable difference in your energy bills.

Now let's compare the top variable-stage AC unit from each brand. The Lennox XC25 has been advertised by the company as "65 air conditioners in one" because it has 65 speeds, changing its operational capacity in increments of 1%.

Simply put, this means it has impeccable precision in adjusting the energy it uses to go with the changes in the surrounding temperature.

Meanwhile, Rheem has the Prestige RA20 that also offers variable speeds that ensure continuous adjustment of operational capacity to your specific needs all throughout the day. However, it has only 5 speeds.

Winner: Lennox

Longevity

The average air conditioner lasts around 10-15 years. You can expect a Rheem AC unit to last within this time frame. On the other hand, Lennox AC units have a bit more longevity in them.

Air conditioners from the Dave Lennox Signature Collection can last up to 20 years, and units from the Elite Series can last up to 18 years.

Lennox also has a better reputation for sturdy AC units that last long without needing major repairs. On the other hand, consumers and experts report that Rheem models are more prone to leaks and other issues compared to Lennox.

Winner: Lennox

Maintenance

Unfortunately, Lennox products are infamous for being difficult to repair. This is because Lennox only uses parts exclusive to their brand, so when you need a part replaced, you will have a much more difficult time hunting it down. This also means repair jobs are much more costly.

Rheem, on the other hand, does not require brand-exclusive parts, so you can find replacement parts easily. You also don't have to stick with the brand's technicians to get repairs done.

Winner: Rheem

Purchase Price

When it comes to purchasing price, Rheem definitely has the advantage. The brand is known for offering budget-friendly options with a range of $948-$1,925 (unit only). Lennox units are much more expensive, with a range of $3,420-$5,580 (unit only).

Keep in mind that total costs, including installation, will vary depending on many different factors, such as your location.

Winner: Rheem

What brand of compressor does Lennox use?

Small air conditioning units mounted on small concrete stands outside the house

Lennox uses LG for their variable-capacity compressor and Copeland scroll compressors for their single-stage and two-stage units.

What are Rheem coils made of?

Rheem coils are made of aluminum, making them more durable, efficient, and easier to install than copper coils.

Are Rheem air conditioners loud?

Rheem air conditioners typically stay within 65-70 dB (decibels). This means they operate quietly.

Is Rheem or Carrier better?

As with Rheem versus Lennox, deciding which air conditioner is better ultimately depends on your specific needs. However, in terms of quality, Carrier does pull ahead of Rheem since it has a better reputation for better cooling and more sophisticated design.

When it comes to energy efficiency, ease of maintenance, and cost-effective prices, Rheem has a leg up on Carrier.

What SEER rating should I buy?

Your air conditioner should at least meet the minimum SEER rating of your region. The minimum SEER ratings for each region are:

  • North: 13
  • Southwest: 14
  • Southeast: 14

Of course, this is the bare minimum. Remember that the higher the SEER rating, the more energy-efficient the unit is. So you can expect to save more on energy bills when you have a higher-rated unit.

For instance, you can save hundreds of dollars more on annual electricity bills when you buy a unit with a 16 SEER rating versus when you buy one with a 13 SEER rating.

So while units with higher SEER ratings are pricier upfront, you can invest in them to save more money in the long run.

In Closing

Gray Lennox air conditioning units outside the house

Lennox and Rheem both offer excellent options for cooling systems, but if the price is no object and you're looking for the most energy-efficient models with guaranteed longevity, Lennox is likely the best choice for you. For more inexpensive, easy-to-maintain models with great features, Rheem units will fit in well within your budget.

Remember to take time in comparing costs, features, and reviews from different consumers and experts. An air conditioner is a huge investment, so don't rush and be thorough before you make a final decision.

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