Last updated on Feb 26, 2020

Ruud Review

Ruud air-conditioners are affordable, efficient, and compatible with generic parts ​
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Ruud

  • Priced lower than many equivalently sized units from their competitors
  • Ruud units all have decent or higher efficiency
  • Ruud systems are compatible with generic parts
Similar Products

How We Reviewed Ruud

7 models compared

7 features evaluated

3 ratings analyzed

When it comes to finding affordable efficiency in air conditioning units, Ruud is hard to beat. Ruud is a brand with significant experience in its field of expertise. The founder of the company was the inventor of the first-ever automatic gas water heater and from these historic beginnings, Ruud has expanded into the heating and cooling industry to become a significant player within it. In the modern era, it not only stays on the cutting edge of heating and cooling technologies, but it specializes in doing so with a focus on environmental sustainability.

Two places this focus can be seen, beyond the public commitments made by Ruud, are in the SEER and EER ratings of its products. Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, and Energy Efficiency Ratio, respectively.

Ruud air-conditioners are best for people who are looking for an affordable model and who live in a region that doesn’t get excessively hot summers. A range of models are offered, starting with the Achiever Series Single Stage (RA13) on the cheaper end and culminating with Econet Enabled Ultra Series Variable speed (UA20) on the pricier end. Exact costs of product and installation can vary depending on location, availability, local contractors, and structural elements of the building.

While it’s hard to beat Ruud’s prices for the efficiency and quality of what it’s selling, some people have noted problems with the company’s evaporator coils.

Pros
Cons
Competitive pricing
Energy Efficient
Compatible with generic parts
Eligible for tax rebate
Durability issues with evaporator coil
Lackluster warranties

Ruud Overview

  • Efficiency (SEER rating): Ranges from 15.5-20 depending on the model.
  • Model options: 7
  • Warranty: Conditional unit replacement (10 years and requires registration), Parts (10 years and only on some models)
  • ENERGY STAR rating: 7/7 Contain Energy Stars

Ruud Air Conditioner Prices by Model

Ruud AC Model
SEER Rating
Model Cost
Sound Rating
Unit Size
Cooling Area
ECONET™ ENABLED ULTRA® SERIES VARIABLE SPEED (UA20)
Up to 20.5
$1,850
56dB
2-5 tons
1,500-2,500 sq. ft
ACHIEVER SERIES: TWO-STAGE (RA17)
Up to 17
$1,680
62dB
2-5 tons
1,500-2,500 sq. ft
ECONET™ ENABLED ACHIEVER PLUS® SERIES TWO-STAGE (UA17)
Up to 17
$1,480
60 dB
2-5 tons
1,500-2,500 sq. ft
ACHIEVER SERIES: SINGLE STAGE (RA16)
Up to 16
$1,205
57 dB
1.5-5 tons
1,500-2,500 sq. ft
ACHIEVER SERIES: SINGLE STAGE (RA14)
Up to 16
$1,050
60 dB
1.5-5 tons
1,500-2,500 sq. ft
ACHIEVER SERIES: SINGLE-STAGE (RA14**W)
Up to 16
$1,000
52 dB
1.5-5 tons
1,500-2,500 sq. ft
ACHIEVER SERIES: SINGLE STAGE (RA13)
Up to 15.5
$990
63 dB
1.5-3.5 tons
1,000-2,500 sq. ft

*All information accurate as of Jan. 9, 2020. Pricing and sound rating information from AirConditionerLab.com. Cooling area calculated using EnergyStar.gov

Energy efficiency – SEER rating

Ruud is a company that focuses on energy efficiency and affordability for its branding. While Ruud doesn’t sell the most efficient air conditioners on the market, it does provide some of the best efficiency per customer dollar spent. Ruud’s prices run on the cheaper side of the market while its efficiency ratings lean towards the high end.

Among the Ruud models, there is a variance of up to five in the SEER ratings, with a minimum rating of 15.5 and a maximum rating of 20.5. The U.S. Department of Energy stipulates that all air conditioner units produced after 2015 must have a minimum SEER rating of 12-14 (depending on system type). All of the Ruud models exceed minimum requirements and are Energy Star certified. What this boils down to is how much energy the unit takes to cool the air. Greater efficiency saves you money and reduces the environmental impacts of running an air-conditioner.

Warranty options

Warranties are an essential part of any expensive equipment that is intended to be used for a long time. Air conditioners certainly fit this category. Without a warranty, you have to pay out of pocket for any repairs or maintenance that your unit requires. With a warranty, some or all of these costs are covered by the company that holds your warranty.

Ruud offers a basic 10-year conditional unit replacement on all of its air conditioner models, but it’s important to remember that you need to register your product to access this warranty. Some of the units also come with a 10-year parts replacement warranty. Finally, Ruud has an extended warranty program called Protection Plus, which can be purchased to extend the limited warranty by up to 10 years after the initial warranty expires.

Beyond these three warranty options, there are no expansions or addons available directly through Ruud, although your HVAC installer may have further options of its own to offer. While these warranty options aren’t great, Ruud’s warranty options are fairly average for the HVAC industry.

Installation and maintenance

The purchase and installation of air conditioners require the assistance of a licensed HVAC specialist. HVAC companies rarely sell directly to customers and Ruud is no exception to this rule. In order to purchase a unit, you’ll need to contact a local HVAC contractor who will order the unit for you and install it. An alternative option is to buy the desired model through a national hardware store such as Lowe’s or Home Depot, and the store can arrange for the purchasing and installation.

Ruud does not provide much information about their installation guidelines, but the company does share links for contacting HVAC installation specialists. For specifics on the installation requirements and unit price, customers need to contact an HVAC specialist or national hardware store. When it comes to choosing an HVAC specialist, it’s crucial to find one with a solid reputation in your area. Reliability, professionalism, and timeliness are some of the top aspects to look for when choosing your contractor.

Sound rating

Ruud air conditioning systems are on the quieter side of the industry. With the decibel ratings of its air conditioner units ranging from 52 to 63 decibels (dB), the systems produce roughly the same noise levels as a ‘conversation at home’—with its quietest models—and up to a ‘conversation in a restaurant,’ with the loudest models.

If the unit is going to be placed in an out-of-the-way location where no one will ever be that close to it, then the sound rating isn’t as much of a concern. However, if the unit is going to be occupying space that is shared with people, you may want to consider getting one of the quieter models. A great example of this latter situation is if the unit is going to be in the backyard and you or your family spend a lot of time outside near where the unit is installed.

The Competition

Ruud
Carrier
Trane
SEER Rating
15.5-20.5
13-20
14.5-22
ENERGY STAR rating
7/7 models
10/16
8/9
Warranty
  • 10-year conditional unit replacement
  • 10-year parts
  • Protection Plus
  • Parts 10 years
  • Compressor 10 years
  • Base Limited 1-20 years (model dependent)
  • Registered Limited 5 years – lifetime
  • Sound Rating
    52-63
    56-76
    55-75

    *All information accurate as of Jan. 9, 2020.

    Ruud vs. Carrier Air Conditioners

    With a similar range of SEER ratings, Ruud still beats out Carrier by having a higher minimum SEER rating. Despite producing units of similar efficiency, Ruud units are significantly cheaper and come with comparative warranties. Ruud units also run on the quieter side when compared to Carrier air-conditioners.

    Ruud vs. Trane Air Conditioners

    Trane air-conditioners range from slightly less efficient to somewhat more efficient than Ruud air-conditioners. Looking elsewhere, though, the prices of Ruud units top out where Trane units begin, making Ruud the more affordable option, by a significant amount. Trane, however, offers more warranty coverage options than Ruud, with greater possible coverage.

    About the Authors

    Joshua Cox-Steib is a sociologist and freelance writer. He lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with his wife and their three pets. He obtained his bachelor of sociology at the University of Tulsa. Before his career in writing, Joshua worked as a behavioral health case manager. As a freelance writer, he has gained experience in a diversity of industries including but not limited to internet technologies, finance, HVAC, home and garden, insurance, and dentistry.