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Rheem Criterion Furnace

4.8 of 5 stars 4 reviews | #3 of 9 Furnaces
Updated: Dec 9, 2018 | Read more about Rheem Furnaces | Criterion Warranty

Overview of Criterion

The Rheem Criterion is a discontinued gas furnace with an efficiency of 80% AFUE. It was designed for upflow and horizontal installation, and its low-profile 34-inch design allowed increased installation flexibility. The unit featured a corrosion resistant stainless and aluminized steel heat exchanger and a direct drive multi-speed blower motor. A slow-open gas valve and specially designed draft inducer motor helped reduce operating sound levels. The unit was protected by a prepainted galvanized steel cabinet.

Consumer Reviews of the Criterion

4.8 4.8 of 5 stars 4 reviews
  • Very Satisfied
  • Somewhat Satisfied
  • Neutral
  • Somewhat Unsatisfied
  • Very Unsatisfied
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5 of 5 stars Blackwood, NJ
Date created: 2018-12-09


Heater and Rheem ac unit installed in a new construction home in 1996. I bought home in 2003, Both still working with attention to proper maintenance. Had to replace hot surface igniter 3 times, keep a new one on hand.

5 of 5 stars Tucson, Arizona
Date created: 2015-11-12

Review of Rheem's Criterion Gas Furnace

Being located in Arizona, having a reliable furnace is a necessity for the extreme winter temperature fluctuations. When my home was built, it was located within a development common to my area. I was expecting nothing short of an unreliable heating and cooling system, but I was pleasantly surprised. When I moved in, it included a well taken care of Rheem Criterion gas furnace system. From my best estimate, the unit is a little over 10 years old. Although this unit rarely sees temperatures below the 30s, it runs like a champion! I have noticed that in conjunction with my thermostat, the unit runs properly and my energy bills in the winter months in Arizona reflect this. We have made some plans to improve any drafts or air leaks, so in conjunction with the furnace, our energy bills are more manageable than in the summer months. I would have to say one of the only downfalls to this unit is the accessibility of the filter. This may be because of the location it was placed in, but it is pretty difficult to access it to change it. Overall, I am happy that I have a Rheem, and I would certainly recommend it to a friend!

5 of 5 stars St. Louis, MO
Date created: 2011-05-21

How about a little heat

This house was built from the ground up item in it was not selected by us......the builder had everything under control. Our furnace is quiet and the vents are long by the door and under the windows....I have never been able to understand their logic. Why put heat or air under a drafty window. So far I haven't found any negative about this except when we turn it on in the winter it blows directly on me. I sit under the computer but there's a guard on the vent so it won't blow directly on me. Yes I would purchase this name brand again, if the stores sell it. You never now where they purchased it from, they might have gotten it from out-of-state. If it did come from out-of-state No I would not try to find it. No repairs thank God for that. My husband changes the filter every month on the heater and they are not dirty...I don't see why he cannot wash them, lay them outside and let them dry and reuse them. It's a man's thing I suppose. When my mother stayed with us in the winter she would tell us that her room wasn't warm enough, well she was 91 and I do know they stay cold. We put a small electric heater in her room, plus the heat from the furnace then her room was too hot but she loved it. The hotter the better.

4 of 5 stars
Date created: 2009-11-20

Good with proper maintenance

I have had a Criterion for 15 years. The first time, I had problem after 5 yrs using; I called for service. It cost me $160 to replaced ignitor. Next time, I knew the problem when it happened again; I bought a new ignitor and changed it myself. I saved $110. I learnt and know how the gas furnace works. When the motor quit. I changed it myself. I am happy to repair things I own. Here is my advice: Learn to fix things you own from on-line, books borrow from libraries. It 's not for fun but for survival. I own rental properties. I called contractors for estimate to replace an electrical furnace. Prices change dramatically from $2800. to $900. What the hell is that! Please don't tell me: You get what you pay for. It's rediculous. The installer want to scare you; So you have to pay more. Most hvac owners have employees installing or do manual works. Most employees just work for a living. They just do the job. You have to look and do your own inspection. I know how the furnace works. I know the parts and where to buy them and I know how to replace them. So I go with $900. Reehm electrical furnace. I will see how long it last; How much it costs me to own and use this Rheem unit. I check and maintenance it myself.

Other Criterion Reviews

Among the few comments regarding the Criterion on HVAC forums is one on from a homeowner with burners that would not fire and a blower that wouldn't shut off. Both were simple repairs -- cleaning the burner crossover tubes and a flame limit sensor switch. A homeowner on had a similar problem with a blower that wouldn't turn off.

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Criterion Warranty

The warranty for the Rheem Criterion furnace is comprised of the following:

  • 20-year heat exchanger warranty
  • 5-year draft inducer motor warranty

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