Do you have a Trane AC unit that you need to replace, and you’re wondering how to determine the tonnage so that you can look for a matching replacement unit? You’ve come to the right place, for we have researched this question, and we have the answer for you.
Follow the steps below to determine the tonnage of your Trane AC unit:
- Look for the model number of your Trane AC.
- Look for the seventh and eighth digits and treat them as a 2-digit number.
- Divide this number by 12. The result is the capacity of your Trane air conditioner in tons.
Unfortunately, the way model numbers are written might be confusing—especially when determining the number of characters or digits. Read through the succeeding sections to learn more about this method of finding out the tonnage of your Trane AC, as well as the other information that you can learn from the model number. Read on!
Where to find the model number of my Trane air conditioner?
Before you can use the method that we provided above, you’d first need to know where to find the model number of your Trane air conditioner.
Air conditioner user manuals commonly have the model number so that anyone picking up the manual would know for which model it was made. However, it is common that several models of air conditioners under the same manufacturers can have the same user manual. And commonly, only the first model to use that user manual is imprinted on it.
This can be confusing because multiple models that use the same user manual can be the same in all aspects except for the tonnage—which is what we need to find out. Therefore, it is best not to refer to the user manual when it comes to getting the model number of your Trane air conditioner.
Trane air conditioner outdoor unit
The outdoor unit or the compressor of your Trane air conditioner has a sticker close to the electrical panel. This is a white sticker with black markings.
At the topmost area of the sticker—below the name “Trane”—is the model number. It is composed of numbers and uppercase letters. This is the true model number because that sticker is unique to each model of the Trane air conditioner.
How to decode/read a Trane air conditioner model number?
Some model numbers start with the hash symbol. Disregard the hash symbol when looking at the model number and when counting the number of characters. It is not part of the model number.
The first digit of the model number
The first digit of the model number is usually a '2,' or a '4,' although it is commonly a '4' for newer units. This number tells you what type of refrigerant your air conditioner uses, so you don’t have to waste time looking through the manuals for this information.
A number '2' on the first digit means that the air conditioner uses an R-22 refrigerant, while a number '4' means that it uses an R410A refrigerant.
The second character of the model number
The second character is always an uppercase 'T.' This stands for Trane, the manufacturer of your AC.
The third character of the model number
The third character is often an uppercase 'T' or an uppercase 'W.' These two characters represent the product type based on commercial classification.
An uppercase 'T' means that you have a split cooling type of product, while an uppercase 'W' means that you have a split heat pump. This information can be useful if you need to replace your Trane air conditioner with a similar model and product type.
The fourth character of the model number
The fourth character tells you the product family. A product family is usually a Trane-specific classification that tells you which family of products your air conditioner belongs to.
This information can change based on the existing product families that Trane has at the time that your air conditioner was manufactured.
The fifth character of the model number
The fifth character represents a piece of important information because it tells you the SEER rating of your air conditioner.
SEER means Season Energy Efficiency Ratio. It is a modified form of EER—Energy Efficiency Ratio—which is based on a 95-degree Fahrenheit outdoor temperature. SEER uses seasonal averages—instead of the 95-degree constant—to accurately measure the energy efficiency ratio.
A '0' here means that your air conditioner has a SEER rating of 10. A '1' means that it has a SEER rating of 11, a '2' means that it has a SEER of 12, a '3' means it has a SEER of 13, a '4' represents SEER 14, and so on. The highest SEER rating that is represented here is '9,' which means that your air conditioner has a SEER rating of 19.
The current industry minimum is a SEER of 14. Thus, you should see a '4' or better here for efficient AC models.
Sixth character of the model number
The sixth character is mostly used by HVAC professionals when they need to do maintenance or repair on your unit. This character is commonly a '0,' which means that the connections within your air conditioner are either soldered or brazed or a combination of both.
Seventh and eighth characters of the model number
These two characters are always read as two-digit numbers. This represents how many thousand BTUs per hour your unit can produce.
Thus, a '30' means that it can remove 30,000 BTUs worth of heat per hour, while a '24' here means that your air conditioner can remove 24,000 BTUs per hour.
Since one ton of cooling capacity in air conditioner nomenclature is equivalent to 12,000 BTU per hour, you can simply divide the total BTU based on this number by 12,000. Or you can cancel out the three zeroes and divide the whole numbers directly.
Thus, from our example above, a '30' for the seventh and eighth character of the model number means that an air conditioner is a 2.5-ton unit. Similarly, a '24' for the seventh and eighth character of the model number means that the AC unit is a 2-ton model.
Ninth character of the model number
The ninth character of the model number represents the type of modifications that have been done on this specific model since it was first launched. Thus, if the model has been in the market for a few years already, there will be several revisions or improvements. Any major changes will be indicated here.
Tenth character of the model number
The tenth character represents important information too. It tells you the voltage used by the power supply of your air conditioner. This is useful for HVAC professionals when they need to do maintenance or repair on your AC.
A number '1' here represents a voltage configuration of 200-230/1/60. This can also be a 208-230/1/60.
A number '3' represents a voltage configuration of 200-230/3/60, while a '4' means that the voltage that your air conditioner uses is 460/3/60.
Eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth characters of the model number
These characters are where any secondary functions are indicated. A series of three zeroes on these three characters mean that the air conditioner doesn’t have any secondary functions worth noting.
Fourteenth character of the model number
This is where minor design modifications are indicated. This is similar to the ninth character. The difference between them is that the fourteenth character tells you about the minor modifications.
Fifteenth character of the model number
This is a part identification number that is important only to HVAC professionals if they need to do repairs on the air conditioner—especially when they need to look for a specific part to replace a defective one.
What is a ton in air conditioners?
One ton in HVAC represents 12,000 BTU/h—BTUs per hour. On the other hand, BTU, or British Thermal Unit, represents the amount of heat needed to increase the temperate of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.
Keep in mind that the amount of heat needed to increase the temperature of water by one degree Fahrenheit is slightly different based on the current temperature of the water when heat is applied. The variation in the needed temp can vary by up to 0.5%.
So, why is it called ton?
If you constantly remove 12,000 BTUs of heat per hour from one short ton of water (1999.59 pounds), it will turn to ice in 24 hours. This is the cooling power represented by 1-ton of air conditioning.
Including the capacity of a Trane air conditioner into a coded two-digit portion of the model number may not be the most efficient way to store it—especially for residential owners. However, this system ensures that simply knowing the model number of an air conditioner gives you a wealth of information about the air conditioner. This can be useful when looking for a matching air conditioner when you need to replace it. You just need to know what the different characters in the model number represent.
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