Rheem Heat Pumps: An Independent Review

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Note: Solar Choice is not associated with Rheem Heat Pumps Manufacturer or any heat pump installer and has no financial or other incentives to promote any product brand over another.

At a Glance: Rheem Solar Choice Heat Pumps Score Card

$ Price: Retailing at $2,500 to $2,600, the Rheem MDc-180 earns the lowest cost badge as a budget-friendly product for consumers.

  • Efficiency: Rheem disclosed a Coefficient of Performance (COP) of 4.5 for this heat pump as an average of their performance test at 19°C over the entire heat up cycle. Assuming our comparison conditions with an ambient temperature of 20°C and a water inlet temp of 15°C & output temp of 60° we estimate the COP to be between 4 and 4.5. This earns Rheem 3 points.
  • Warranty: Rheem’s warranty for their MDc-180 heat pump offers 7 years for the tank parts, 3 years for labour on the tank, and 3 years for parts and labour on the sealed system. This a strong warranty that is only offered by the top brands in the market, earning Rheem 4 points in this category.
  • Customer Reviews: Rheem has 388 reviews with an average of 1.8  for their older heat pump models and 30 reviews with an average of 4.8 for the latest MDc-180 model. With an overall average 3.3 Rheem scores 2 points for customer reviews, but it appears their average is on the way up with good reviews coming in for their latest technology.
  • Functionality: Rheem lacks an app to control and monitor, has a noise rating above 45 decibels, and does not have a stainless steel option for the tank, so they score 2 out of 5 for the functionality we are looking for.

Uncover essential details in the comprehensive guide below and find out what you need to know before you buy.

Company Background

Rheem has a long history in Australia dating back to 1936 when the US parent company launched Rheem Manufacturing Co (Australia) Proprietary Ltd as an overseas subsidiary. The company focused on the manufacturing and distribution of water heaters. 

BHP acquired a 50% stake in 1939 and later acquired the remaining 50% in 1973. Rheem Australia was acquired twice since then. First by Southcorp Limited in 1988 and later in 2001 the current owners Paloma Co Ltd acquired a controlling interest in the company. 

Many of Rheem’s water heaters are still manufactured in Australia in their facilities in Sydney and Melbourne. With a local workforce of around 700 employees, Rheem operates from its headquarters in Rydalmere, New South Wales, and offers a wide range of residential and commercial water heating solutions.

Product Range Overview

Rheem distinguishes itself with a diverse array of water heaters, including electric and gas storage, solar water heaters, gas continuous flow water heaters, pool heating, and notably, heat pumps. Rheem also utilises the Ruud brand name under which it sells additional heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment.

Rheem 180l ambipower heat pump hot water diagram explained

Rheem Heat Pump Product Range

Rheem AmbiPower MDc-180 Heat Pump

Rheem AmbiPower MDc-180 Heat Pump

  • Tank Capacity: 178L, ideal for small families or households of up to 3 people.
  • Energy Efficiency: Boasts a high COP (Coefficient of Performance) of 4.5 at 19°C, indicating its high efficiency and potential energy savings of up to 70% compared to conventional electric heaters in specific zones.
  • Features: Includes advanced microchannel heating technology for uniform water heating and a user-friendly touch screen LCD display. It operates efficiently in a broad range of climates, from -7°C to +43°C, making it suitable for cold climates.
  • Warranty: Offers a comprehensive 7-year warranty on the cylinder, with varying coverage for other components.
Rheem Ambiheat HDc270 Heat Pump

Rheem Ambiheat HDc270 Heat Pump

  • Tank Capacity: 270L, suitable for larger households of 2 to 5 people.
  • Energy Savings: Can save up to 73% on water heating energy consumption in comparison to traditional electric water heaters in certain climates.
  • Features: It also incorporates advanced microchannel technology and a 2.4kW back-up element for emergency heating. Its user-friendly LCD screen interface and eligibility for STCs, VEECs, & ESCs add to its appeal.
  • Warranty: Similarly, it comes with a 7-year warranty on the cylinder, among other coverage options.

Rheem MPi-325 Series II Heat Pump

Rheem MPi-325 Series II Heat Pump
  • Capacity: 325L, designed for moderate to warm climates and average-sized families.
  • Efficiency: Its multi-pass heating system and Whisper technology enable quiet operation and efficient heating, including frost protection.
  • Installation: With locations for fitting designed for easy replacement of electric water heaters, it simplifies installation and ensures consistent hot water even in winter.
  • Warranty: Provides a shorter 5-year warranty on the cylinder for this model with additional coverage for parts and labor.

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Overview of the Rheem Warranty

Rheem provides an attractive warranty for its line of heat pump water heaters in an effort to reassure customers about the dependability and longevity of their purchase. While not the best in class, when compared to many other manufacturers, Rheem offers a longer guarantee period for their tank. However, there are certain disadvantages to having a warranty that is divided into several categories, such as the sealed system’s shorter warranty than that of competitors. If you live in an area of Australia with a more severe climate, this might be of particular interest to you. 

 The Rheem warranty covers the following:

  • Tank Warranty (parts only): 7 years (or 5 years for the MPi-325 Series II). This means if the water tank part of your heat pump water heater has issues because of manufacturing defects, Rheem will help fix or replace it for up to seven years after you buy it.
  • Labor for Tank Issues: 3 years. If something goes wrong with the tank within the first three years, not only will Rheem cover the tank itself, but they’ll also cover the cost of the work needed to fix it.
  • Sealed System: 3 years. The parts of your heat pump that are sealed off (like the parts that make it heat up) are covered for three years, both for the parts and the labor to fix any issues.
  • Other Parts and Labor: 1 year. Other parts of the heat pump, like controls and valves, come with a one-year warranty for both the parts and the work to repair them.

Rheem’s warranty specifically applies to homes where just one family lives and uses the hot water system. If you’ve secured a rebate through a program like Solar Victoria’s Solar Homes Program from July 1, 2023, there’s a chance you could get a longer warranty covering the whole product for five years.

Read Rheem’s warranty policies here:
Rheem AmbiPower MDc-180 Heat Pump
Rheem Ambiheat HDc270 Heat Pump
Rheem MPi-325 Series II Heat Pump

Rheem Heat Pumps Pros and Cons

High energy efficiency with coefficient of performance rated at 4.5 (@19°C) for Ambipower and Ambiheat modelsUpfront costs are higher than traditional water heaters.
Uniform and faster water heating due to advanced technology.Requires a well-ventilated area for optimal operation, limiting installation options.
Local Australian company with over 700 staff.In colder climates, the efficiency of some Rheem models may decrease, impacting potential savings in areas with regular cold weather
Eligibility for state and federal rebates and incentives.The sealed system warranty is only for 3 years. Repairs beyond that period could be costly, as these systems are more complex than traditional heaters.

What is a good coefficient of performance (COP) for heat pumps?

A heat pump should have a minimum COP of 3.0 to 5.0 and a SCOP of at least 3.5, meaning that it should be able to offer comfortable, year-round heating and cooling.

The Coefficient of Performance is a key measure of a heat pump’s efficiency, indicating how effectively it converts electricity into heat. Simply put, it shows the amount of heat produced for every kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity consumed. For example, a COP of 4.5 means the heat pump generates 4.5 kWh of heat for every 1 kWh of electricity used. This efficiency can vary with outside temperatures, typically decreasing in colder weather as the system works harder.

How much does a Rheem Heat Pump Hot Water System Cost?

Rheem’s range of heat pump water heaters are priced from $2,500 to $3,800. This pricing spectrum caters to various household sizes, from smaller families to larger homes needing more capacity. Keep in mind, the listed prices cover only the cost of the units themselves excluding freight and installation. There are also state and federal rebates available that could reduce the prices of these systems.

Model NumberModel NameCapacitySuitable ForPrice (AUD)
551180Rheem AmbiPower MDc-180 Heat Pump180L1 to 3 people$2,500 to $2,600
551270Rheem Ambiheat HDc270 Heat Pump270L2 to 5 people$3,500 to $3,600
HP551325Rheem MPi-325 Series II Heat Pump325L3 to 5 people$3,700 to $3,800

Are Rheem Heat Pump Hot Water Systems Worth it?

A Rheem Heat Pump Hot Water System is likely to meet the needs of eco-aware homes and those trying to cut their energy costs by providing solid energy savings and environmental benefits due to its efficiency rating with a coefficient of performance rated at 4.5 (@19°C) for their newer models. 

Of the Rheem heat pumps available on the market the Ambiheat and Ambipower provide better performance characteristics and a superior warranty offer.

However serious thought should be given to the greater initial cost, installation requirements, and segmented warranty terms. To decide if a Rheem heat pump is a reasonable investment, potential buyers should evaluate the unique demands of their home, the climate in the area, and the possibility of qualifying for rebates.  

Looking into heat pump hot water systems? Our comprehensive guide makes it easy, covering potential rebates, the real costs of hot water heat pumps, and the truth about ‘free’ upgrades. Learn about energy savings and understand the benefits and drawbacks with clear expert advice. For all you need to know before making a decision, check out our Heat Pump Hot Water Systems Buyers Guide.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

James Shand