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McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
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How many tons is my Rheem air conditioner or heat pump?
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
You can determine the size in tons of your Rheem HVAC system by examining the model number on the data sti at the side of the a/c condenser (outdoor unit). Look for the second cluster of digits of the model number. It will have 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 60 divided by 12 equals 5, so the data plate below indicates the system is 5 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.
Unfortunately, Rheem sometimes varies from the standard that the BTU rating exactly divisible by 6 or 12. The data plate below is from a package heat pump that is nominally 3 tons, but rated at 37,000 BTU.
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 Rheem system, go to our blog post How can I tell the age of a Rheem heat pump or air conditioner from the serial number? For the age of another brand or manufacturer, go to our blog post How do I determine the age of my air conditioner?
To learn more about heating and air conditioning systems, see these other blog posts:
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