Nomenclature on HVAC/R equipment is a sequence of numbers and letters a manufacturer uses to speak directly to the technician. Lots of initial upfront information is handed to the technician by the manufacturer the moment the technician reads the nomenclature in the model and serial numbers.
So how do we make sense of these seemingly random sequences of alphabetical/numerical characters? Every manufacturer has developed its own “language” of sorts when it comes to their equipment. Let’s take a look at several different examples.
Now let’s take a look at all the different information these model numbers can give us. Across the manufacturers listed as examples, we can find information about Product Series, Type of Equipment, SEER, Cooling/Heating Capacity, Grille Variations, Voltage, Configuration, Cabinet Dimensions, Type of Motor, Airflow Capacity, Refrigerant Type, Efficiency, etc.
Understanding the importance of the information in model numbers is essential, and can save a lot of time in diagnosis and installation. Serial numbers, too contain valuable information. Most manufacturers don’t publish the nomenclature for serial numbers, because it’s mostly used for warehouse and warranty tracking, but a few helpful tips per manufacturer are:
Carrier: The first 2 numbers in the serial number indicate the week of the year the equipment was manufactured. The 3rd and 4th numbers indicate the year of manufacturing.
Goodman: The first 2 numbers in the serial number indicate the year of manufacturing. The 3rd and 4th numbers indicate the week of the year it was manufactured.
Trane: Typically has the year of manufacturing printed elsewhere on the data tag
Mitsubishi: The first number in the serial number indicates the year of manufacturing. The decade must be assumed. (an “8” could mean the equipment was manufactured in 2008, or 2018)
Always take a moment to familiarize yourself with the manufacturer model/serial number nomenclature. The information you find will help you understand the system more fully and can help speed up the diagnosis/installation process.