Rheem Manufacturing's Air Conditioning Division has partnered with GE Retail Finance to lower its KwikComfort financing rate from 6.45 percent to 3 percent through June 15, 2006, for purchases of Ruud and Rheem home comfort systems. This limited-time offer is lowest consumer financing rate ever offered by the company.

"This year, consumers face potential sticker shock as a result of the new federally mandated minimum energy efficiency standards that went into effect in January," explained Frank Fodge, marketing operations manager of Rheem Air Conditioning Division. "We expect that many homeowners will opt for more advanced systems than they may have considered because the financing rate makes more fully featured comfort systems more affordable."

The 3 percent promotional rate was designed to provide additional sales opportunities to contractors during the upcoming cooling season. Only contractors qualified to offer KwikComfort financing are eligible for the promotion; membership applications are available from GE Merchant Services at 800/330-5189.

For more information, contact your local Rheem or Ruud distributor, contact GE Merchant Services, or click on the link below.

ServiceMagic Partnership

In other news, the Air Conditioning Division has partnered with ServiceMagic to exclusively provide Rheem Team and Ruud Reliable Top Contractors the ability to receive real-time Internet leads from local consumers wanting to buy heating/cooling systems and services.

ServiceMagic offers homeowners a free online resource to connect with Rheem/Ruud Top Contractors using Internet search engines. Consumers enter one of thousands of keywords designated for residential heating and cooling contractors. Because of ServiceMagic's contractual agreements with top search engines, its Web site and contractor listings are positioned as one of the first links seen by consumers looking for HVAC service information.

ServiceMagic then screens visitors to its Web site and passes "ready-to-buy" leads directly to Top Contractors based on the customer's geographic location and Top Contractor service area. Homeowners are required to complete a three-page interview with project details to ensure the appropriate professionals are contacted.

In 2005, ServiceMagic processed more than 35,500 service requests specifically from consumers seeking HVAC professionals.

The standard $99 enrollment fee has been waived for Rheem Team and Ruud Reliable Top Contractors. ServiceMagic charges a nominal fee for each lead generated. Flexible budgeting options are available, even using earned Top Contractor funding.

For further information, contact Phyllis Abshere, Top Contractor program coordinator, at 479/648-4893, Pabshere@rheemac.com.