When it comes to Rheem vs Payne air conditioners, there are a differences. Find out what they are.

Rheem is one of the leading HVAC manufacturers in the industry, while Payne is a brand that's better known for its heating units than air conditioners. When it comes to Rheem vs Payne, the primary difference between the two brands is that Payne is known as a builder's line, while Rheem is a consumer line.

central air conditioner

Both brands offer quality air conditioners and have a long history of customer satisfaction, but differ significantly in air conditioner prices. Before you decide on either, you should understand the major similarities and differences between the two lines as well the pros and cons, including cost, installation and quality.

Rheem is a consumer line of extremely efficient luxury air conditioners. The company's units boast some of the highest SEER values available on the market. Most consumers receive a tax rebate for purchasing energy-efficient units.

Payne is a builder's line, so it sells air conditioning units designed to fulfill very basic functions without any added luxury features.

To illustrate the primary differences between the two brands, examine the following comparison of features and pricing between the two most comparable units from each line. A contractor can also help you decide between the two.

Rheem Prestige Series:

  • Up to 18.5 SEER.central air conditioner
  • Comfort Control System that's designed for maximum comfort and energy efficiency.
  • AC controls that make temperature management easy.
  • Two-stage Copeland scroll compressor for maximum efficiency.
  • Advanced pressure control.
  • Comfort Alert LED diagnostic screen for easy troubleshooting.
  • 10-year conditional replacement warranty.
  • 10-year warranty on parts.
  • Pricing: Approximately $2,900 to $7,500.

Payne 13 SEER R-410A

  • Up to 17.2 SEER.Payne 13 SEER R410A
  • Deluxe dense grille to increase outside coil protection.
  • Energy-efficient model with R-410A refrigerant.
  • Two-stage cooling for improved dehumidification and optimal home cooling.
  • 10-year conditional replacement warranty.
  • 10-year warranty on parts.
  • Pricing: Approximately $2,400 to $6,500.

As you can see, the average Rheem air conditioner sells for a higher price and comes with numerous luxury features. Most Rheem air conditioners feature the Comfort Alert system, which allows consumers to easily run diagnostics on their unit. Rheem is also known for its generous 10-year product warranties upon registration.

Rheem offers a variety of six different product series, each one available in several different models. Payne air conditioners are only available in three different single-model series.

When considering Rheem vs. Payne in terms of product diversity and support, Rheem provides more options.

When weighing Rheem vs. Payne in terms of energy efficiency, Rheem air conditioners clearly outperform Payne air conditioners. The highest energy-efficient unit produced by Payne only offers up to 17.2 SEER, while Rheem's most energy-efficient model has up to 19.5 SEER.

Rheem units also come with superior product warranties, and the brand is known for its excellent customer service. Superior product warranties combined with onboard diagnostics also make Rheem the superior choice in terms of maintenance.


While Rheem units cost about $1,500 more than Payne units on average, many consumers are willing to pay the higher price upfront in exchange for the savings that an energy-efficient unit provides.

You can find in-depth resources on pricing of each brand too at "Rheem Air Conditioner Prices: Costs, Pros, Cons, and More"  and "Payne Air Conditioner Prices: An Overview."

For consumers who are willing to pay more upfront to save significantly on energy over the lifetime of their product, Rheem is the clear choice. Payne offers a viable alternative for those who don't mind having to install air conditioner additions such as diagnostic systems after purchase. If you're a contractor, or simply don't mind an air conditioning unit without the frills, Payne is a good option.

When comparing Rheem vs Payne air conditioners, the primary consideration is whether consumers prefer simplicity and immediate value, or greater luxury and convenience at a higher cost.