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Rheem Classic (R801T) Gas Furnace Product Review

The Rheem Classic Series R801T gas furnace offers homeowners increased energy savings, longevity, and dependable comfort when needed. This article will review its benefits, features, and accessibility to help homeowners make informed decisions when investing in a new furnace.

Rheem Classic (R801T) Gas Furnace Product Review

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Matt Reed


Matt Reed


June 29th, 2023

Most gas furnaces can last up to 20 years, especially if you're proactive at scheduling your system's annual maintenance appointment. Nevertheless, our installers and technicians have seen furnaces that are still kicking 25-30 years later; however, this begs the question of “How efficiently is it running?”

Chances are, your old HVAC system uses more energy to heat your home, thus increasing your carbon footprint and monthly energy bills while decreasing your unit's energy efficiency and overall life span.

Even if your furnace isn't 20-30 years old, technology has changed, and the technology behind your residential HVAC systems is no different. Many new HVAC units are more efficient and more affordable than their predecessors.  

At Fire & Ice, we have serviced, installed, and maintained thousands of gas furnaces within the Columbus metropolitan area. Not to mention, we work hard to find the right HVAC system for you, your home, and your wallet.

There are a lot of different kinds of Rheem Furnace models, including the Classic Series, Classic Plus Series, and Prestige Series. However, the Rheem R801T Classic Series Gas Furnace is one of the simplest entry-level gas furnaces on the market and can fit in almost any home.

So, if you’re looking for a top-of-the-line communicating furnace, this article is not for you. If you're searching for something more energy efficient, durable, and reliable, check out the reviews below:

Nevertheless, if you’re in the market for an entry-level gas furnace, you've come to the right place! This article will cover the product information for the Rheem R801T Classic Gas Furnace, including its:

  • Technical Specifications of the Rheem R801T
  • Benefits of the Rheem R801T Gas Furnace
  • Features of the Rheem R801T Gas Furnace
  • What HVAC Equipment Can Be Paired with the Rheem R81T?
  • What Type of Homeowner is a Good Fit for the Rheem R801T?
  • What Type of Homeowner is a Bad Fit for the Rheem R801T?
  • What’s Next? 

Let’s dig in!

Technical Specifications of the Rheem R801T

According to Rheem’s official specification sheet for the R801T Classic Gas Furnace, it has the following:

  • Price: $4,200- $5,800*
  • AFUE: 80%
  • Heating Stages: Single Stage
  • Motor Type: Constant Torque
  • Energy Star Qualified: Yes
  • Furnace Configurations: Up, Down, and Horizontal
  • Heating Capacity: Up to 100,000 BTU (British Thermal Unit)
  • Life Expectancy: 15-20 years (with proper maintenance)

*This price is subject to change; contact your trusted Rheem comfort specialist to verify pricing*

Before we move on, defining some of these terms is important. This way, you can interpret the Rheem R801T Gas Furnace accurately and determine if it's the right fit for you, your home, and your loved ones.

AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency)

AFUE is an acronym for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency and is calculated under the Department of Energy testing procedures. It measures how energy efficient a furnace is at converting fuel to heat. In simpler terms, it’s a metric that determines how much fuel your furnace converts to heat and evenly distributes it through your ductwork and into your living space.

As a general rule of thumb, the higher the AFUE, the more energy efficient your furnace is at converting gas into heat, thus having more heat entering your home. This is extremely important to many homeowners since a higher AFUE is more energy efficient, which, in turn, is a good thing for you, your home, and, most importantly, your wallet.

Single Stage Compressor

In the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning world, there are three types of compressors: single-stage, two-stage, or modulating/variable speed; however, in this article, we only need to focus on the single-stage compressor. So what is a single-stage compressor?

Single Stage: Refers to a furnace or other HVAC heating equipment with only one heat output level, meaning that this type of furnace can only be 100% “on” or 100% “off.” A single-stage furnace is either powered by electricity or gas (in this case, gas), regardless of the temperature outside.

Constant Torque Motor

A constant torque mortar is a high-efficiency ECM motor (electronically commutated motor) that uses an integrated control board that maintains a programmed torque (the speed your furnace runs).

A labeled diagram with the components of an HVAC system

It's important to note that the Torque/ECM programming is specific to each type of furnace and is determined by the manufacturer, which can ONLY be completed at the time of production.

BTU (British Thermal Unit)

In the HVAC industry, we use BTUs to measure how much energy your air conditioner, furnace, heat pump, or air handler uses to produce (or remove) heat to or from your HVAC system. Not to mention, these measurements are vital to proper equipment sizing.

Benefits of the Rheem R801T Gas Furnace

Now that that's out of the way, we can get to the good stuff: the benefits and features of the Rheem Classic (R801T) Gas Furnace.

The Rheem Classic R801T Gas Furnace is the simplest type of gas furnace you can invest in. It's a fixed-speed single-stage furnace that operates at top speed or zero; there is no in-between. Meaning your furnace is either 100% “on” or 100% “off.”

Another benefit of the Rheem Classic R801T Furnace specific to Rheem is that this furnace has a three-way multi-pose design: up, down, or horizontal, which is specific to Rheem HVAC systems. A three-way multi-pose design makes it adaptable to almost anywhere in the home, including basements, attics, or utility closets.

Arguably, the best benefit of this furnace is the fact that despite its simplicity, it is still packed with an 80% energy efficiency, which is better for you, your home, and the environment! Not to mention, with higher energy efficiency, it delivers a quieter, more reliable performance.

Features of the Rheem R801T Gas Furnace

A red circle with the word 360+1 on it

The Rheem-Exclusive PlusOne™ Ignition System

The Rheem-Exclusive PlusOne is backed by Rheem’s 360° +1 Campaign, which is unique to Rheem and was created to make the life of a homeowner a bit easier by having a furnace (or other HVAC equipment) that works smarter, not harder. The Rheem PlusOne™ advantages include the following:

  •  360° Performance™
  •  360° Installability™
  •  360° Serviceability™
  •  360° Integration™

From there, The PlusOne™ Ignition System was born and was built into the existing 360° Performance™ campaign. By conducting extensive research and developing reachable goals for optimizing a furnace's internal technology, performance, longevity, and reliability, Rheem created its “Direct Spark Ignition System.”

This resulted in an ignition system that’s up to nine times more reliable, as well as a furnace with a longer lifespan than other single-stage gas furnaces on the market.

Industry First-PlusOne Diagnostics™

A man holding a hose and a pressure gauge

Another exclusive feature of the Rheem Classic R801T is the “Industry First- PlusOne Diagnostics™,” which was built into the existing “Rheem 360° Serviceability™, thus adding improved serviceability across the board, giving homeowners peace of mind by adding an extra layer of protection.

The PlusOne™ Diagnostic is a combination of the seven-segment LED and EcoNet (however, for this furnace investing in an EcoNet wouldn't be the best thing, but I'll get into that more in the next section) enabled diagnostics makes the life of an HVAC professional easier, which in turn, will help homeowners solve the problem without needing a service call.

The seven-segment alphanumeric LED display helps take the guesswork out of typical HVAC service calls by diagnosing a problem more accurately, thus resulting in faster service calls, fewer service visits, and decreased callbacks, which is a win for the homeowner and your trusted HVAC professional.

What Equipment Can be Paired With the R801T?

Any single-stage air conditioner or thermostat, including smart or manual, can be paired with the R801T. However, keep in mind that this is not a communication system. A communicating system communicates with a variable speed/ multi-stage system, which this furnace is not.

That said, investing in a communicating thermostat (like the EcoNet) could be a waste of money, especially since you won't be using the communication side of the thermostat. Nevertheless, you could still use the EcoNet as your thermostat; it just won't have all the bells and whistles that come with utilizing it with a communicating system.  

Although, for this type of furnace, our experts suggest a simple thermostat with “off,” “on,” and “fan” options available or a smart thermostat, such as the Google Nest.

Indoor Air Quality Products

On top of that, this furnace can be paired with other HVAC-related products and accessories, such a

A close up view of the air purifier buttons

Each of these add-ons will ensure your home has clean and pure air circulating throughout your home. Watch the REME-HALO review video below to learn more and determine if this IAQ product fits you, your home, and your loved ones.

What Type of Homeowner Is the Rheem Classic (R801T) Furnace A Good Fit For?

As mentioned previously, this is one of the simplest furnaces on the market; that said, it would be perfect for any homeowner who is looking for a simple and economical furnace with very few (or no) immediate comfort concerns and just wants a furnace that will accurately heat their home.

When the Rheem Classic R801T Gas Furnace is correctly sized, installed, and regularly maintained, if you signal your thermostat that you need heat, it will go 100% and heat your home while keeping 80% of BTUs.

Keep in mind that this HVAC system is not the quietest or the most comfortable Rheem Gas Furnace; however, if you're a homeowner that just wants something economically sound, reliable, and efficient at keeping your home at your optimal comfort level, the Rheem R801T is perfect for you.

A man and woman sitting on an orange couch in a living room

What Type of Homeowner Is the Rheem Classic (R801T) Furnace A Bad Fit For?

This furnace would not be a good fit for homeowners with comfort concerns such as hot or cold spots or uneven temperatures; investing in this furnace will leave you seriously disappointed.

Related Content: What is an HVAC Zoning System? (And Why It Works)   

Or let’s say you're a homeowner that's planning on staying in your home for several years until you retire or even raising your kids in your current home; in that case, it would make more sense to invest in a higher efficiency, variable-speed HVAC system (like the models listed at the top of this article).

Think about it: if you plan on staying in your home until your kids grow up or until retirement, you will get the most bang for your buck by investing in a higher-performance HVAC system.

Nevertheless, if you have zero comfort concerns and whether you own a two-story home, a ranch, or even if your home is on a concrete slab, this furnace would provide your home with comfort. That said, it's important to remember that everyone feels temperatures differently, so you have to go by what feels comfortable for you, your home, and your family.

How Do I Know if This is the Right Furnace for Me?

A piece of paper with the words what's next on it

Now that we’ve gone over everything you need to know before you invest in the Rheem Classic R801T Gas Furnace, we hope you can make an educated and informed decision on your next purchase of a residential furnace.

So, whether you need a replacement, installation, or repair on an AC, furnace, heat pump, or air handler, Fire & Ice has you covered!

Are you ready to start your HVAC journey with Fire & Ice? Check the zip code map below to make sure you're in our service area!

We look forward to making your day better! 

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