Conventional heating and cooling methods cause a lot of issues for the environment. Newer solutions, like heat pumps, offer much higher efficiency, are reasonably priced, and have fewer maintenance concerns.
Heat pumps work by moving heat from inside the home to the outside or the other way around. While there are many brands and models to choose from, Ruud makes a case for a reputable and solid choice. We will review the Ruud heat pumps in this article and help you decide if they are right for you.
Ruud Heat Pumps: Over 100 Years Of History
Ruud HVAC equipment has been manufactured and installed country-wide since 1950, though Edwin Ruud created the first automatic water heater over 100 years ago. While technology has changed, the R&D department inside Ruud has continued to expand and impress.
Aside from their technological advances, Ruud is also known for their quality, affordability, and dependability. This continues to show in their latest heat pump models. They also offer EcoNet communications to all Ruud components, a 10-year full unit replacement warranty, and can cool temperatures up to 107 degrees or heat down to 7 degrees.
With an impressive and durable lineup, there is a Ruud model for you. Let’s take a closer look at the options and features to help you find the ideal model.
Ruud Heat Pumps: Comprehensive Buyers Guide
Size Of Heat Pump
The size of your heat pump, in tons, will determine how efficient it can be. You need to ensure you get the right-sized heat pump for your size home. Smaller units won’t be efficient enough, and units too large will burn out quickly and take a lot of energy to operate.
SEER & HSPF Ratings
SEER, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, is a rating that gives you an idea of how efficient the system is while cooling over the warmer months of the year. As with almost all energy efficiency ratings, SEER takes the wattage input and BTU output of the system while in cooling mode.
Higher SEER ratings mean higher efficiency potential. For heat pumps, you want to look for 14 or higher SEER. Anything 16 SEER or higher is considered good, with 18 to 20 SEER being great and 21+ SEER excellent.
Like SEER, the Heating Season Performance Factor (HSPF) is the ratio of electrical intake can BTU output while in heating mode over the colder months. HSPF isn’t as high as SEER, though, so don’t expect to see very high numbers.
On average, anything over 8 HSPF is good, with 8.5 to 9.5 HSPF being great and 10+ HSPF considered excellent.
Both of these ratings are based on the tonnage of the system as well. Tons are a measurement of BTU output potential. We measure this as 12,000 BTUs for every ton. You will find heat pumps range from 0.5 to 6 ton units, with the bulk falling between 2 and 5 tons (60,000 BTU).
Tonnage is a direct correlation between home size and heating or cooling capacity. For example, a 2 ton unit works well in homes up to 1200 square feet, where a 5 ton unit can better handle homes up to 3400 square feet.
Cost Of The Heat Pump
The unit cost of the heat pump is determined by the system’s size, how it is mounted, and the type of heat pump it is. Brand, model, and features also play a part. For a standard heat pump system connected to an air handler in the home, you can expect to pay between $1100 and $8000 for the heat pump.
Many brands offer geothermal heat pumps as well, which can easily cost up to $25000. Mini split ductless systems are the most economical, with price ranges more in line between $1000 and $3000.
You also need to consider installation costs. Labor, tools, and equipment costs can average between $3000 and $8000 for the full installation. Of course, contractor type, region, time of year of the install, and location will all play a part in how much you are actually charged.
Yearly Maintenance Costs
With heat pumps, there aren’t a lot of extra costs. You will need to buy a new air filter every 30 to 90 days, which costs about $15. Other than that, you need to perform regular cleanings and maintenance, which, if you have the water hoses and coil cleaners, won’t cost you anything but time.
However, at least once a year, you need to have your system inspected by an HVAC professional. Many brand warranties require this to maintain the warranty status. The annual inspection will look over your entire system, perform basic cleaning and maintenance, as needed, and spot any issues or possible concerns before they get too expensive to repair.
A full annual inspection should cost between $150 and $500 (depending on size and type of system) and will last about 2 to 3 hours.
Another consideration is noise levels. Measured in decibels (dB), noise levels can range from near-silent operation (about 42 to 50dB) to loud enough to wake you at night (over 78dB). Many brands offer noise reduction techniques such as silencer hoods, blankets, or rubber mounting brackets. These features usually add to the unit cost.
Finally, you want to consider the warranty coverage. Most brands will offer a 1 to 5-year coverage for the parts and compressor. This can also range up to 10-years just from the purchase. However, it is important to note that most brands want you to register the purchase within a specific time frame.
They will offer incentives for registering your heat pump by extending the warranty. This can include going from 1 to 5 years on parts to 10 years or more. The compressors often get a much better deal with an additional 10 years up to a lifetime warranty. Make sure you read and understand the warranty terms and registration requirements before you buy.
Introducing The Ruud Heat Pump Range (Side By Side Comparison)
Ruud offers several heat pump options. While they won’t have the highest SEER ratings on the market, each model is durable and reliable. The big downside is in model size selection. Most brands offer models between 1 and 6 tons; Ruud has a few that don’t even have 3 ton options.
In the chart below, you will see each model compared based on SEER, HSPF, and tonnage ratings, as well as home sizes, compressor types, and costs. Note that the prices shown are based on either 2 or 3 ton units with average installation costs.
|Heat Pump Model||SEER||Tonnage||Home Size||Compressor Type||HSPF||Cost (Unit Only)||Cost + Install|
|Ruud UP20||20||2 – 5 ton||1200 – 3200 sq. ft.||Variable-Speed||11||$2300||$6500|
|Ruud UP17||18.5||2 – 5 ton||1200 – 3200 sq. ft.||Three-Stage||8.5||$2100||$5300|
|Ruud RP17**H||19||2 – 4 ton||1200 – 3000 sq. ft.||Two-Stage||10.7||$2000||$5200|
|Ruud RP16||16||2 – 5 ton||1200 – 3200 sq. ft.||Two-Stage||9||$1900||$5100|
|Ruud RP15||16||1 – 5 ton||600 – 3200 sq. ft.||Single-Stage||9||$1750||$4950|
|Ruud RP14||14||1 – 5 ton||600 – 3200 sq. ft.||Single-Stage||9||$1550||$4750|
|Ruud RP14-F||14.5||1 – 5 ton||600 – 3200 sq. ft.||Single-Stage||8.5||$1500||$4700|
|Ruud WP14||14||1 – 5 ton||600 – 3200 sq. ft.||Single-Stage||11.5||$1300||$4500|
|Ruud WP14**F||14.5||2 – 2.5 ton||900 – 1400 sq. ft.||Single-Stage||8.5||$1250||$4450|
Ruud Heat Pump Reviews (All Models)
Each Ruud heat pump model reviewed below fits into one of three categories. The Econet enabled models combine to offer the most efficiency with other Ruud air and water control devices.
The Achiever series models make up the bulk of your options and offer affordability and high efficiency. Finally, the Choice series is more cost-effective and has fewer features and selection options than the other two.
The Ruud EcoNet is a system where multiple Ruud components work together to ensure even higher efficiency. The EcoNet has parts in HVAC, water, and air control systems. This includes your water heaters, air handlers, heat pumps, and air conditioners.
There are currently two heat pump models in the EcoNet family. The UP20 is the highest efficiency unit offered by Ruud at the time of this writing. It features a minimum of 20 SEER (though the upper limit is never mentioned). Along with EcoNet, the UP20 also features the Ruud PlusOne system.
You will find that there are three options for valve spacing (3, 4, or 5 inches) for better room during inspections, installs, and working access. You also get a 15-inch wide access corner panel (largest in the industry) for removing the casing, accessing the unit components, and overall cleaning and maintenance issues.
The entire unit is also encased in an eye-catching case with a noise-reducing base pan and fewer fasteners keeping it all together.
The other model is also a part of the Achiever series (see below). The Ruud EcoNet Achiever Plus UP17 model uses a three-stage compressor (compared to the variable speed of the UP20). This helps you achieve an 18 SEER rating, and it does have all of the EcoNet capabilities, in addition to the PlusOne system components.
It also features the noise-reducing base pan and limited fasteners for easier cleaning and coil access. Few rival the curb appeal of the EcoNet series, and the entire system looks as good as it performs. It performs very well, by the way.
The Achiever series is the mid-range model lineup and includes many features that make them worth every penny.
You will also save quite a bit of money compared to the EcoNet models, which adds to the appeal.
There is one model that stands out, though. The RP17**H is a low profile model that is made to combine with the RHMV*****N air handler.
Combined, they offer the quietest operation and smallest installation footprint of any heat pump on the market.
One thing to note here, though, is that the RP17**H is only available in 2, 2.5, 3, and 4 ton options. While you can purchase multiple units for larger homes, it is recommended that you instead opt for a larger unit from the rest of the series.
The RP16, RP15, and RP14 models are nearly identical. They all offer the noise-reducing composite base pan, like the EcoNet models.
However, they do not have the PlusOne features for wider access panels and easier disassembly. The RP16 is the only model there, though, that uses a two-stage compressor.
All other models in this series (and the Choice series below) utilize the Ruud single-stage scroll compressor. While they are more efficient than a traditional compressor, the single stage prevents ultra-high SEER ratings.
The final option in this series is the RP14-F. This model is the same as the RP14 from above, with one small difference. It is designed to have 14 SEER efficiency with coil only and PSC air handler matches. This enables you to use this heat pump with dual-fuel setups.
The Choice series is the only option that is not available in Canada. The WP14 and WP14**F are the most affordable, least efficient, and most restrictive options. However, if you are looking to replace an older central AC system, they will fit the bill nicely.
With 14 SEER ratings, factory low-pressure control systems and scroll compressors, you will have a reasonably quiet, highly efficient machine on your hands.
They aren’t the most beautiful models to look at; however, they perform well, stand up to rough weather conditions, direct sunlight, and have easy corner access to valves and wiring.
The WP14**F model is only available in 2 and 2.5 ton options, though, so if you need a larger system or plan to install this in the Southwest, where SEER ratings are more controlled, you are better off choosing the WP14 model.
How Much Power Does A Heat Pump Really Use?
One of the biggest concerns when buying HVAC equipment is knowing how much it will cost you to run. Understanding power consumption and how to calculate it will go a long way to assisting you in finding the ideal heat pump for your needs and budget.
To understand your power consumption, you need to know the watts (W) of the appliance. This will be found stamped on the information plate or in the owner’s manual. You can also find the volts (V) and amps (A). Multiplying them together will give you the wattage.
Dividing your watts by 1000 will give you the kilowatts (kW), which is used in the power consumption formula. You also need to know how much you are charged per kilowatt-hour (kWh) from your electric company, which you can find on your monthly statement.
Multiplying your kWh, cost per kWh, and hours of runtime, you can get your power consumption per hour. If you also multiply the days, you can see the total cost over a season.
For example, a 3500-watt system (3.5kW) charged at 13 cents per kWh running 4 hours per day over the 90 days of summer gives us: 3.5 x $0.13 x 4 x 90 = $163.80.
Hiring A Professional Installer: Is It Worth It?
Hiring a professional installer is not only worth the cost; it may also be required. Various brands maintain that you must have your system professionally installed for the warranty to become active. Further, if you are after the tax credit (see below), you are also required to have an HVAC pro install the system.
On average, Ruud has standard install costs. Modernize.com suggests this cost can range between $3875 and $10,000. However, one thing to note is that these install costs include the purchase of the heat pump itself, too.
With professional installation, you get security and safety. All components, equipment, your personal safety and that of your home and installation site are protected. You also get peace of mind knowing the system is installed and set up to maximize efficiency.
Having the right system for the size of your home, the model ordered and shipped, installed, set up, and checked without you having to lift a finger, is always a bonus. Professional installs also come with a labor warranty, which can help save you money down the road should a repair or replacement be needed.
Ruud Vs. Other Heat Pump Brands
With Ruud’s 100+ year history and notable durability, how do they stack up against other big names? We compare Ruud heat pumps against both Goodman and Mitsubishi to find out exactly that.
Ruud Vs. Goodman
Goodman heat pumps are among the most reliable and affordable on the market. They don’t offer a lot of models and only one that has a 20+ SEER rating. However, where Goodman excels is in brand recognition, customer service, and performance.
Goodman is also one of the very few that cover their compressors for a lifetime (upon registration). Since the compressors are the most critical parts of the system and the ones that take the most abuse, the lifetime coverage could be the deal-breaker.
Ruud stands out over Goodman with model selection, heat pump type, and feature selection. However, they aren’t as readily available as Goodman, making repairs and replacement possibly (though not too often) take longer waiting for parts to arrive or become available.
Ruud Vs. Mitsubishi
Mitsubishi heat pumps rival Ruud when it comes to cost and durability. Mitsubishi may have the most durable systems on the market right now, and they can definitely take a beating. They produce high steel cages for the outside units, making them able to stand up to any weather condition.
For those on the coast (within 10 miles of the sea), they also offer coastal units specially designed to resist salt air and corrosion. Ruud, though, has an advantage in cost and installation fees over Mitsubishi.
The warranties are also similar, and with both companies targeting the mid-range and higher budget consumers, you know you will get a reliable machine, even if you have to save longer to get it.
Tax Credits & HVAC Rebates: Do I Qualify?
When buying an efficient system, you may be eligible for certain tax credits and rebates. The federal tax credit program offers a $300 tax credit when you qualify.
This credit requires a new installation on an existing home that you live in (rentals don’t count). You also need to have the system professionally installed and meet minimum Energy Star requirements. For split systems, that means meeting both 15 SEER and 8.5 HSPF ratings. Packaged systems must be a minimum of 14 SEER and 8 HSPF.
You may also be eligible for energy rebates from your local energy company. Ruud offers a product look-up so you can see which models qualify in your area and how much potential rebate you are eligible for.
When it comes to heat pumps, your local electric company will have different requirements (such as purchase or install dates and minimum SEER ratings). However, you can expect about $200 per ton in electrical rebates.
To see if your chosen system qualifies, check out the rebate center on the Ruud website.
Troubleshooting Tips & FAQs
In this section, we will cover known problems, their fixes, and answers to commonly asked questions about Ruud heat pumps.
Ruud heat pump fault codes
Ruud heat pumps have a dual-LED fault code indicator circuit built into the control board. The problem is that each model has a different set of codes and meanings, and the fault codes are also different for the furnaces, air handlers, and air conditioner models.
Luckily, though, there is a metal ID plate next to the lights. You will need to match up the colors (red, green, or yellow) of the lights and note if they are steady on, flashing, or out. The combination will tell you what the issue is that is being reported.
Because there are so many different models and possible fault codes, even the Ruud website doesn’t list them. You must refer to the plate on the control board for diagnostics and ID.
Ruud heat pump manual
Ruud does post their heat pump manuals online, though. These spec sheets offer all the model information, including model ID, physical data, wiring diagrams, settings and controls, and installation requirements.
The site has recently changed, though. They used to host all of the manuals for each device on a single page where you could locate your model and click the link to display the manual. Now, you need to go to the model information page, find the link for “Documents,” and then the link for the Specification Sheet.
For example, you can find the Spec Sheet for the RP17**H heat pump link on the model information page here. Unfortunately, if you want to look up several models, you need to navigate to each model’s page individually.
Ruud heat pump not cooling
If your system is on and not cooling properly, there are a few things to check. First, you want to look at the airflow. First, check the thermostat to ensure the system is on and set correctly. You want to make sure the fan mode is either “on” or “auto.” The temperature control mode should be in “cool” mode.
After that is verified, check the air filter. If it is dirty, clogged or damaged, it can impede airflow and needs to be replaced. Also, check the room vents for dirt or clogs and clean accordingly. If all of that checks out, head to the outside unit.
When checking the condenser unit, you want to look for ice build-up on the refrigerant lines or compressor. If you find ice see the section below. If not, you want to look at the fan. If it is not spinning, the fan motor is most likely burnt out. This can cause overheating, and the outside unit will shut down while the inside unit(s) continue to run.
Ruud heat pump trips breaker or freezes up
If the system needs to use more power on a constant and regular basis, this excess draw can cause the breakers to trip, especially when the compressor kicks on. If you find this to be the problem, you need to find out what is causing the excessive power draw.
The easiest to check is airflow (see above for steps). If the airflow is fine, you need to check the fans and motors. If you find that a fan or blower motor is not working correctly (or at all), see the following heading.
The most common cause, though, is that the system is freezing up. If you find ice on the refrigerant lines, this is a direct indicator that there is a leak and you are low on refrigerant. This assumes you have already checked for airflow issues (which can also cause freezing).
If you notice ice build-up, shut the system off immediately. It will need to completely thaw so the leak can be detected. At this point, there isn’t much else you can do. A professional HVAC tech will locate and repair the leak and refill the refrigerant to proper levels.
Ruud heat pump blower doesn’t run
If you find that the blower isn’t running, the most likely cause is a burnt-out fan motor. This also accounts for the condenser fan on the outside unit. Both the condenser fan and blower are run by similar motors (the same size and model number motor in some cases).
After you shut off power at the thermostat and circuit breakers, you can inspect the motors closer. First, check for overheating by touching the motor with the back of your hand. If it is scorching hot, allow it to cool before you remove and replace it.
If the motor is not hot, then you want to check the power wires, leads, and connections. Look for burnt or corroded wires, faulty contactors, or a worn run capacitor. Of course, if you are weary of working on a 240-volt system, you can always call a professional in to diagnose and repair the system for you.
Ruud heat pump thermostat wiring diagram
Each owner’s manual will come with a basic wiring diagram for installation, mounting, and connection. To find out where the thermostat wires connect, which colors control which components, and where they need to connect to, though, you can refer to the paper diagram on the panel located somewhere in the system.
That diagram will be glued to the backside of an access panel or in a folder pocket mounted near the control board. It will look similar to this:
How do I reset my Ruud heat pump?
There isn’t a Ruud heat pump rest button like many of their air conditioners and furnaces have. To perform a reset, you need to cycle power to the system manually.
First, shut the thermostat to the off position. Make sure both fan and temp mode are off. Then, locate the circuits that connect power to the system. In most cases, there will be two breakers that control your heat pump. Turn them both off.
After waiting 3 to 5 minutes for residual power to drain and the system to reset, you can restore power at the breakers. Turn the thermostat back on to proper mode, temp, and fan speeds and see if the system runs normally. If not, you may need to reset the system a second time.
Ruud heat pump replacement parts
Ruud heat pumps will eventually break down. Every brand will, and this is why they offer warranties, replacement parts, and repair services. If you are inclined and the part is easy to replace, you can find your own Ruud heat pump replacement parts and perform the replacement yourself.
Those parts are sold at almost every HVAC retailer, home improvement shop, or even online at sites like Amazon or Sylvane. Ruud has their own parts site, with product and model lookup to ensure you get the right part for your specific system. Any option is great, and shipping, availability, and cost will all depend on the part you are after.
Ruud heat pumps are among the most versatile and reliable HVAC systems on the market. They have an affordable range of products, and as seen in this Ruud heat pump review, you can pick the system that works best for your needs.
Ruud has over 100 years of experience in the HVAC field, and they show no signs of slowing down. They make a great option for those that value customer service and durable products.
However, they aren’t for everyone. We have plenty of other heat pump reviews to browse, should you decide Ruud isn’t the best option for you.
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