Carrier Versus Rheem Gas Furnaces. We compare the top-tier Rheem gas furnace to the top-tier Carrier gas furnace by comparing basic options and then describing these options for you. We receive tons of request for these types of comparisons and Rheem versus Carrier filtered to the top of the list for gas furnaces. I always recommend when you replace and type of HVAC equipment you get a matching systems. For example, if your compressor goes bad and you need to replace the condenser I recommend you also get the indoor units with the outdoor unit. There are a few exceptions to this and it depends on the age of the equipment and your budget. In the long run getting a matching system will save you in energy cost as most manufacturers have equipment set up to give maximum efficiency for matched systems. 

Carrier Versus Rheem Gas Furnaces

Carrier Versus Rheem Gas FurnacesRheem has manufacturing facilities here in the USA while Carrier announced they are relocating their manufacturing facility from Indiana to Mexico in the near future. Both manufacturers have excellent dealer networks and training programs for their dealers. That is important. It increases the possibility you will competent installation of your new system. Proper installation is essential to the efficiency and the longevity of the system. Improperly installed systems will not be as efficient as the rating and will likely cause problems that will result in repair calls. This is the primary reason why I recommend getting the best contractor over the brand.

In our side by side comparison matrix we chose the most common features and compare them. Then we give basic descriptions and more detail below the matrix. This helps you compare the features and develop questions and answers about what the best furnace is for you. It basically cuts through the sales literature hype and helps you make a better decision as to which furnace to purchase. Your point of contact will be the salesman or dealer representative who wants you to sign a contract. Before signing any contract you want to know what you are getting and you want it spelled out in the contract. Additional work outside of the installation such as duct work, running a new lineset, running new wire, relocating the condenser, or anything discussed should be in the contract in writing. Additionally, the contractor should provide a load calculation upon signing of the contract.

Carrier Versus Rheem Gas Furnaces

Rheem Versus Carrier Gas Furnaces  
ModelCarrierRheem
Top Efficiency98.5 AFUE97 AFUE
Modulating or StagingModulating 40% to 100%Modulating 40% to 100%
ThermostatConventional or Communicating compatibleConventional or Communicating compatible
Blower OptionsVariable-speed blowerVariable speed blower motor
Gas IgnitionPilot-free, hot surface PowerHeat ™  ignitionPlusOne™ Ignition System – Direct Spark Ignition
Dual Fuel CompatibleHybrid Heat CompatibleCompatible with a heat pump
InducerVariable-speed ECM inducer motorvariable speed 3 phase induced draft motor
Heat Exchanger(s)Aluminized steel primary heat exchanger with stainless steel fin-and-tube design secondary heat exchangerAluminized steel primary and stainless steel secondary construction
Energy Star RatedYesYes
Heat Exchanger WarrantyLifetime  heat exchanger limited warrantyLimited Lifetime
Warranty (Parts)10-year parts limited warranty10-year parts limited warranty
Extended Warranty AvailableCheck with dealer - RecommendedCheck with dealer - Recommended

Carrier Versus Rheem Gas Furnaces - The Details

Top Efficiency

Carrier does have Rheem beat in this category if only you want another one a half percent AFUE out of the furnace. Remember, the efficiency rating on the side of the furnace is only what that particular model got top rating for when it was tested. It does not mean you will get that efficiency after the furnace is installed. There are too many factors involved in the testing and they are too complex to discuss here. However, I will say there is really not much difference between 98.5 and 97 AFUE after you look at the big picture. You can save money on your gas bill by buying a high efficiency furnace. You can also save more by making the duct work is sealed tight and your house is properly insulated.

Modulating or Staging and Thermostat/Control Questions

You can get so much more out of a modulating gas furnace than you can a staging gas furnace. It really depends on the control. Here’s a good question for the salesman if you are looking at either of these furnaces; What happens if you hook up a single stage conventional thermostat to the system? What happens if you hook up a two-stage conventional thermostat to the system? How will the system modulate without using the Carrier or Rheem communicating thermostat? In both cases they will revert to staging in increments defined by the engineer. However, what are these increments, how do they compare, and how does that effect efficiency?

It’s really all about control and how that control is defined. Additionally, what happens if the Carrier or Rheem communicating thermostat go bad and you need to hook up a conventional thermostat to get you through a cold spell until the thermostat can be replaced? Speaking of that, is the conventional thermostat wire going to be replaced with a communicating wire for the new communicating thermostat? If so, how would you hook up a conventional thermostat in the event of an emergency?

Additional Features and Purchase Decisions – Carrier Versus Rheem Gas Furnaces

The additional features from top to bottom are nearly identical from the blower to the warranties offered. However, I would make sure to ask about an extended parts and labor warranty. This is especially true of you are buying top-tier equipment. Most baseline warranties industry-wide never include labor. Labor can be very expensive as more government regulations cost contractors more so they have to charge more for their labor to make up it. All government regulations, fines, and even taxes always get passed on to the consumer anyhow. That is the reason it costs more to buy and install a new HVAC system in New York as compared to Florida unless you hire a hack who really does not know what they are doing. At least most do not anyhow.

Final Advice

Do your homework when purchasing a new HVAC system whether it is a gas furnace or air conditioner or whatever. The most important homework you can do is on the contractor. As stated above, it is very important to select a contractor that will do the job right in the first place. Next is equipment or brand. To help you selecting a good contractor and with the HVAC equipment we have some some resources for you.

HVAC Equipment Buyers Guide
Finding a Good HVAC Company | Buyers Advice
Carrier Gas Furnace Reviews - Consumer Ratings
Rheem Gas Furnace Reviews | Consumer Ratings

And you can see our Gas Furnace Reviews category for other gas furnace reviews for other brands. Many of our brands have consumer opinions in the comments below the technical review. You will find many of the reviews are negative. Some of the negative reviews I can read through and tell you that these people did not do their homework before purchasing their new system. They ended up getting a lousy installation from a subpar contractor. Do your homework and avoid those problems. We wish you luck and hope you get the best possible system properly installed. Leave us some comments about your experience and we helped you. We appreciate it greatly.

High Performance HVAC

Carrier Versus Rheem Gas Furnaces

  • Rheem Warranties as Compared to Other Brands 85%
  • Rheem Quality as Compared to Other Brands 92%
  • Consumer Opinion based on Field Experience 80%
  • Efficiency Compared to Other Brands 90%
  • Overall Rheem Opinion from a Technical Perspective 88%
  • Carrier Warranties as Compared to Other Brands 90%
  • Carrier Quality as Compared to Other Brands 95%
  • Consumer Opinion based on Field Experience 90%
  • Carrier Efficiency Compared to Other Brands 93%
  • Overall Carrier Opinion from a Technical Perspective 85%

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