The hottest days of summer may be behind us, but the season isn’t over yet. Your central air conditioning system has been working hard to keep your home cool and your family comfortable. Don’t neglect it, or it may bite the dust when you least expect it. We recently posted two blogs about the two most common types of refrigerant used in AC units: R410A Puron and R22 Freon. What type does your AC have? And what other details can you learn about your system? The folks here at GAMA Air are going to provide some tips on how to read details placed on your AC unit.
The Name Plate
All air conditioner manufacturers put a label or tag on their equipment with a variety of details. It is commonly called a Name Plate, Serial Plate or Serial Tag. This tag can be metal with information stamped into it, or it may be a sticker with information printed on it. Look for it near where the electrical line and/or the refrigerant lines hook up to your unit outside. What information does it contain?
- Manufacturer – This is the name of the company that designed and built the unit. It is also called the ‘brand’ name of the unit.
- Model number – It may be called “M/N”, “Model No.”, “Model”, or “Mod No.”. This is how the manufacturer designates the type of unit you have. It identifies the general capacity, the voltage, and even whether it is Heat Pump or Air Conditioning unit, among other things.
- Serial number – It may be called “S/N”, “Serial No.”, or “Serial”. This is how the manufacturer identifies that specific unit. Think of this like the VIN number on your vehicles. No two serial numbers are alike. This allows for the tracking of when it was manufactured, when it was shipped to a supplier, when it was sold to a contractor, and when it was installed and/or started up.
- Electrical information – Among the electrical details you will find on the name plate are: Voltage or Volts, Frequency or Hz, Phase or PH, running amperage or AMPS and maximum circuit protection amperage. There may also be general electrical information about specific components inside the unit such as the compressor or the fan motor.
- Refrigerant – The tag may use the word “Refrigerant” or simply say “Factory Charge”, “Charged”, “Refrigerant Weight” or it may not use any of those words but will say how many pounds and ounces (lbs and ozs), or just ounces and/or kilograms (kg) it contained when it was built. Your unit will have one of these two types of refrigerant:
- R410A which is also R-410A or HFC-410A
- R22 which is also R-22, HCFC-22, or Refrigerant 22
- Performance data – It is possible that there will also be data that can be helpful to a trained technician when troubleshooting is needed. This data may include design pressures of the refrigerant at various stages of operation, temperature differentials of the system at various points, and expected amperage depending on the mode of operation.
Do you have a question about a repair you think your central air system needs? Visit our “Ask an Expert” page, fill out the form, and the resident expert here at GAMA Air will respond quickly with the answer.