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New Rheem Crossover Products Merge Air and Water Technologies

Innovation comes in many forms and one of the hottest trends is in creating unique products by merging seemingly disparate technologies, such as air conditioning and water heating . Just as the world has seen the family sedan and sporty SUV merge into a so-called “crossover” vehicle that brings the best of both together, so are manufacturers like Rheem creating new comfort product categories by merging their unique air and water engineering expertise. 

As the only company with the engineering resources and decades of knowledge to produce both innovative air conditioning and water heating products for a wide range of applications and world markets, Rheem has been busy designing innovative new crossover products such as their revolutionary new air-source heat pump water heater and soon-to-be introduced solar tankless water heater. 

The Rheem Heat Pump Water Heater, which combines Rheem’s considerable heat pump engineering expertise with the company’s legendary leadership in high quality water heating design plays right into the hands of HVAC contractors looking for incremental business that leverages their talent, training and experience with little or no investment. It’s been a long while since the super competitive HVAC business, with its shrinking profit margins and cut throat price competition, has had so many new opportunities to increase profitability while delivering attractive new products with high consumer interest and rising demand. 

Even in today’s challenging economy, consumers are searching out new products that can lower their monthly energy bills, that have reasonable payback periods, and contribute to reducing energy consumption and environmental impact.

Mark Boyer, center manager for Gorman-Sarasota, a division of Hajoca Corporation, explained that “heat pump technology is already a known and proven quantity in our warm climate so the [Rheem] HP-50 should work very well here especially if the homeowner has the product installed in an attic, a garage, or any other interior space whose ambient temperature is higher than the outdoor temperature. 

The HP-50 may cost more than a conventional electric water heater, but when the public sees the relatively rapid payback, they’ll be open to investing a bit more up front.” Steve Nadel, Executive Director of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) found Rheem’s first-to-market Heat Pump Water Heater to be significant because it “should save consumers money over the life of the product because it is so much more efficient than alternatives. 

Having a major manufacturer [like Rheem] join this market will also help increase consumer confidence in heat pump water heaters.” The new crossover technology of the Rheem heat pump water heater offers an industry- leading Energy Factor (EF) of 2.0, or more than twice the energy efficiency of a standard electric storage water heater. The average annual operating cost will be between $225 and $280, or roughly half that of even the most efficient standard electric water heaters on the market today. 

The energy saving design reduces the average family’s carbon footprint by nearly two tons annually. In addition, the Rheem heat pump water heater qualifies for a federal tax credit as well as many state and utility rebates and incentives. HVAC contractors will find the slim line, more portable design a great solution for spaces with limited access making this replacement and retro-fit friendly product design ideal for attics and garages where excess heat is commonly found. Air source HPWHs perform best in climates with average annual temperatures above 40 degrees, but even in colder northern climates basement boiler and furnace rooms can provide the warm air that a heat pump water heater needs to be effective. 

ACEEE’s Nadel says “that heat pump water heaters can also be a very effective dehumidifier for many homeowners with damp basements.” Things are changing and product category boundaries are blurring due to innovative technology, the intensifying consumer search for new and better efficiency and home comfort solutions, and the world’s overarching energy and environmental concerns. What a great time to be an HVAC contractor – that is, if you make the changing market work for you.

About Rheem Manufacturing Company
Rheem Manufacturing Company (www.rheem.com) is privately held with headquarters in Atlanta. In its 82nd year of operation, the company manufactures a full-line of high-quality residential and commercial heating and cooling systems; tank, tankless, solar, and heat pump water heaters; swimming pool heaters and commercial boilers throughout North America and world markets. The company’s premium brands, including Raypak, Ruud and Rheem, have been recognized with countless industry and consumer awards for reliability, innovative design, and high quality. Rheem is the official heating, cooling, and water heating supplier to Kevin Harvick, Inc. and is the primary sponsor of NASCAR’s Nationwide Series “Driver of the Decade,” Kevin Harvick and his #33 car.

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