How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
site-built, mobile/manfuactured and modular homes
How many tons is my Bryant air conditioner or heat pump?
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
You can determine the size in tons of your Bryant HVAC system by examining the model number on the data sticker at the side of the a/c condenser (outdoor unit). Just like the nominal size of lumber or an air conditioning filter, the exact cooling capacity may be a little more or less than the nominal rating, but it’s close. Look for the 7th and 8th digits, or 8th and 9th digits, of the model number. It will be a number divisible by 6 or 12, and represents the nominal BTU of the system in thousands. A ton of air conditioning equals 12,000 BTU, and 42 divided by 12 equals 3.5, so the data plate below indicates the system is 3-1/2 tons.
Here’s a rundown of the range you will encounter: 18 = 1.5 tons, 24 = 2 tons, 30 - 2.5 tons, 36 = 3 tons, 42 = 3.5 tons, 48 = 4 tons, and 60 = 5 tons. And this is another one that is 3 tons.
If you are unsure whether you have found the right two numbers, you can double-check it by looking for the “RLA” rating on the data plate. RLA is an acronym for Rated Load Amperage, and is what the maximum amperage should be when the condenser up and running. If you divide the RLA by 6 for older units and 5 or 6 for newer units, you should get a number that approximates (not exactly) the tonnage of the system. Make sure you use RLA and not LRA, Locked Rotor Amperage, which is the surge of amps necessary to overcome inertia and start the system. It averages around five times the RLA.
To determine the age of a Bryant system, go to our blog post How can I tell the age of a Bryant air conditioner from the serial number?
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To learn more about heating and air conditioning systems, see these other blog posts:
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