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What size in tons is my Gibson heat pump or air conditioner from the model number?
Tuesday, June 15, 2021
You can determine the size in tons of your Champion HVAC system by examining the model number on the data plate at the side of the condenser (outdoor unit). Look for the second cluster of 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 36 divided by 12 equals 3, so the data plate below indicates the system is 3 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.
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 Gibson system, go to our blog post How can I tell the age of a Gibson heat pump or 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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