Rheem Heat Pump Review and Comparison

There are three Rheem heat pump series' that we will be considering:

1. Rheem Prestige

  • RPRL model
  • RPQL model

2. Rheem Classic

  • RPNL model
  • RPQL model

3. Rheem Value

  • 13PJL model
  • 13PJP model
  • 14PJM model
  • 15PJL model

There are many unique features (both good and bad) to the Rheem heat pump.  Make sure you note the comments under each "What's Unique" heading.

Rheem Heat Pump - Prestige Series

Rheem Heat Pump Prestige

What's Unique?

Rheem's top of the line heat pump Prestige Series is available in two unique series:
    1. Two Stage with Communicating Motor (RPRL)
    2. One and Two Stage (RPQL)

First let's discuss the unique features of the RPRL model.....

Very important to note is the RPRL's exclusion of demand defrost.  If there is any need to use this heat pump in lower temperatures (35-50 F) heat pump defrost is needed.  Before purchasing this model be sure to talk with the Rheem heat pump dealer about this as there are other options to consider.

The RPRL contains special control features which increase the efficiency of the heat pump. The "communicating motor" allows for multiple heating and cooling stages. In this way, the heat pump remains rather efficient in mild weather conditions.


Now the RPQL Series....

The RPQL comes standard with demand defrost.  So the worries mentioned above regarding the RPRL do not apply here.


And finally unique features available in both models under the Prestige Series.....

The Prestige Series comes with a warranty for an entire unit replacement.....a very unique industry warranty!

The RPRL has a 10 year unit replacement warranty and the RPQL has a 5 year unit replacement warranty.  

But be sure to register for this warranty, otherwise you won't qualify!

Also, two of the most common reasons for a service call due to a heat pump not working is:

    1. A bad contactor
    2. Blown fuses

Rheem addresses both of these concerns with the Prestige Series.  

First, this Rheem heat pump comes with a sealed switch in lieu of a standard contactor.  This prevents dust and insects for causing a problem and it uses optical control, which reduces the switching electrical arc, thereby increasing durability.  

Second, on many heat pumps, if a fuse blows the entire circuit board must be replaced.  This can be an expense into the hundreds of dollars. However, Rheem replaced this style with standard "automotive-style" fuses.  

Now if the fuse blows.....we are talking a dollar or two at the local automotive supply store!

Rheem claims to have the shortest heat pump of the market at a mere 33" in height.  Well....there are other heat pumps that are shorter.  However, Rheem may in fact have the shortest top-of-line heat pump on the market.

Specifications and Features?

Capacity Range:
The Rheem Prestige RPRL is available in 2, 3, 4 and 5 ton models and the RPQL is available is 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 3.5, 4 and 5 ton models.

The RPRL is Rheem's most efficient heat pump.  The SEER (seasonal energy efficiency rating) can be as high as 17 in cooling.  The HSPF (heating seasonal performance factor) is as high as 9.8 in heating.

The RPQL is more efficient for heating dominant climates.  It has an HSPF as high as 10 and an SEER as high as 15.5.

The RPRL uses 2-stage scroll compressor technology which allows for more energy efficient operation.

The RPQL is available in two and single stage scroll compressor operation.  

Physical Size:
As mentioned above, if you are looking to hide the heat pump from view, this may be your best option.  

Both Rheem heat pump Prestige models have a very short profile.

.....Only 33" in height!

In fact the 1.5 ton version is only 19" tall.....that's just over 1.5 ft!

That is very short considering these are Rheem's most efficient models.

As for the length and width of each model:

Rheem Prestige RPRL: 44 inches (length) x 31.5 inches (width)

Rheem Prestige RPQL: 40.5 - 44.5 inches (length) x 28-31.5 inches (width)

Physical Characteristics:
The Prestige Series has a rather standard construction.  The heat pump casing is made of powder coated galvanized steel.

The RPRL unit starts at 71 dB for the smaller 2 ton unit and gradually gets louder; up to 78 dB for the largest 5 ton unit.  

If noise is a concern to you, 78 dB is not quiet by an means.  Sound in the upper 70s dB range can be annoyingly loud if standing 3 ft away.

The RPQL model ranges from 70-76 dB depending on the unit size.

Agency Approvals:
The Prestige Series is UL and cUL approved.

The RPRL contains a full unit 10 year warranty and the parts only limited warranty lasts for 10 years.

The RPQL comes with a 5 year unit replacement warranty and a 10 year limited parts warranty.

Rheem Heat Pump - Classic Series

Rheem Heat Pump Classic

What's Unique?

The Classic Series is Rheem's mid-range model and offers the following unique characteristics when compared to the mid-range models of other manufacturers:

As with the Rheem Prestige, the Classic Series boasts a shorter than average profile, ranging from 19-33 inches in height.


The cabinet is a certified 1000 hour salt spray test apparatus.  In other words, it is proven to be a durable product.


When compared to other manufacturers, the efficiency and noise are a little below average.

Specifications and Features?

Capacity Range:
This Rheem heat pump series is available in the following sizes:
     - 1.5 ton
     - 2 ton
     - 2.5 ton
     - 3 ton
     - 3.5 ton
     - 4 ton
     - 5 ton

The maximum SEER is 14.5 and the maximum HSPF is 9.5.

The Classic Series uses a single stage scroll compressor with R-410a refrigerant.

Physical Size:
Depending on the capacity of the unit, the physical size ranges from 40.5 - 44.5 inches in length, 28-31.5 inches in width, and 19-33 inches in height.

The weight ranges from 165 - 270 lbs.

Physical Characteristics:
The framing is powder painted over mild steel.  Despite being mild steel, the unit is proven to be durable as a 1000 hour salt spray apparatus.

The noise level of the Rheem Classic series range from 72-76 dB.

Agency Approvals:
This Rheem heat pump is UL and cUL certified.

If you register the product with Rheem, it comes with a conditional 10 year parts warranty and a 10 year compressor warranty. Without registration, the parts warranty is a limited 5 year warranty.

For more detailed information regarding these warranties, see the Rheem heat pump warranty statement.

Rheem Heat Pump - Value Series

Rheem Heat Pump Value

What's Unique?

The Rheem heat pump Value Series is exactly what the name suggests....

......aiming toward the customer wanting a heat pump for the lowest initial cost.

As a result, there are a few luxuries missing from this Series:
     - No option for crankcase heater
     - Time delay control for the compressor is not standard.  Available 
       as an option only.
     - No sound blanket or sound enclosure standard. Sound enclosure 
       available as an option.


The installation instructions require the heat pump to be mounted above the expected snow line.  While this is always good practice, rarely is this specifically mentioned in the installation requirements. 


Finally, consistent with the Rheem's other models, the Value Series also has a very low profile.  However, this results in a longer and wider unit.


When comparing the efficiency of the Value Series with the low-end model of other manufacturers, the SEER is slightly above average (efficiency in cooling), however the HSPF is below average.

Specifications and Features?

Capacity Range:
The Rheem Value series is available in 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 3.5, 4, and 5 ton models.

The rated SEER ranges from 13-14.5, depending on which model you choose.  The HSPF ranges from 7.7 - 9, which is low for heating efficiency. 

Included within this Series is a single stage R-410a scroll compressor.

Physical Size:
The length ranges from 24-32 inches.  The width ranges from 24-32 inches.  The height is 26.25-35.5 inches.

Physical Characteristics:
The frame and casing for this low-end model is nothing special.  It is a standard painted steel frame.  

Unlike the other Rheem heat pump Series' this is not a certified 1000 hour salt spray apparatus.  

So if you plan to install this heat pump near the ocean, you may want to look at a more durable option.

This Series dB rating ranges from 73-77.

Agency Approvals:
Listed with UL and cUL.

The Rheem Value series comes with a conditional 10 year parts warranty that only applies if you register the product with Rheem.  The compressor warranty lasts for 10 years.

If you would like more information or documentation, visit the Rheem heat pump official website.

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