Payne HVAC Age: Serial Number Decoding for AC, Furnace & Heat Pump

How old is my Payne AC or heat pump or furnace? This page is a Payne age of unit lookup– here is how to read a Payne serial number.

How to Read a Payne Serial Number

Payne has used 5 different serial number styles since the 1960’s. Style # 1, the current style, has been used since the late 1980s and is used on all Payne HVAC units including furnaces, air conditioners, and heat pumps.

Not Model numbers: This post is about Payne serial numbers, not Payne model numbers that have nomenclature related to series, capacity, and performance of Payne HVAC equipment.

Where is  the Payne Serial Number?

The serial number for a Payne furnace can be found on the rating or data plate tag on the unit. It is on the inside of the front service door or inside the cabinet.

On Payne outdoor units like air conditioners and heat pumps, the rating plate can be found on the exterior, back of the unit near the service connections.

Various information is listed on the tag including the model number, voltage, ASHRI certification, etc. Look for “serial number,” “serial #” or S/N for the number you want.

Serial Number Characters that Indicate the Manufacture Date

In the examples below, the specific characters that represent the date the unit was made are underlined. The other characters in the serial number typically identify the plant where the unit was made and the sequence of manufacture.

How to Read a Payne Serial Number – Full Details

Payne has used 5 styles of serial numbers. Style # 1 is the current and most common style. On current units, Payne often also includes the date on the rating plate. Below we explain each of these styles and how to read them to determine the date the unit was made.

The older styles, styles # 2 through # 5, were used before 1990. Most of these units are at, or past, their life expectancy, so it’s not likely you’ll encounter these styles of serial numbers.

Style 1 – 10 Characters: 1990s to Present

This style includes 10 characters and begins with 4 numbers followed by a letter and then 5 more numbers.

Sample Serial #:  3899A24250

Week: The first 2 numbers indicate the week of manufacture from 0 – 52. The number above is 38, so the 38th week of the year falls in September.

Year: The second 2 numbers indicate the year. The numbers above are 99, so 1999.

Manufacture Date: September 1999

Here is a Payne fan coil for AC. It uses a Style # 1 serial number. The unit was made in the 29th week (July)  of 2016. You can see that the date is included on the rating plate. That makes it easy – and “proves” the decoding is correct.

Style 2 – 9 Characters: 1980s

This serial number has nine numbers and does not include any letters. This style was used primarily in the 1980s. It’s pretty simple. And if you have a Payne furnace that is still running from this era – well, that’s pretty impressive!

Sample Serial #:  870506152

Year: The first 2 numbers indicate the year the unit was made, here the numbers are 87, so 1987.

Month: The 3rd and 4th numbers represent the month of manufacture, January through December (01 – 12). In this case these numbers are 05, so May.

Manufacture Date: May 1987

Style 3 – 8 Characters: 1980 to 1984

This one got pretty limited use. I think you’ll see why it didn’t last long – with just one number for the year.

The style begins with a letter followed by a number, then another letter, followed by 5 numbers.

Sample Serial # :  X2D13905

Month: The month of manufacture is based on the following letter code:

M = January

N = February

P = March

Q = April

R = May

S = June

T = July

V = August

W = September

X = October

Y = November

Z = December

This number starts with an “X” so the month of manufacture is October.

Year: This style of serial number was only used from 1980 through 1984. The second character, a number, represents the year the unit was made. Here there is a 2, so the year is 1982.

Manufacture Date: October 1982

Style 4 – 7 Characters: 1970 to 1979

This style begins with a letter followed by six numbers.

Sample Serial #:  D047659

Month: The first character is a letter and represents the month of manufacture is based on the following letter code:

A = January

B – February

C = March

D = April

E – May

F = June

G = July

H = August

I = September

J – October

K = November

L = December

The 1st letter is a “D”, so this unit was made in April.

Year: The 2nd character is a number (0-9) and represents the year of manufacture – see below:

0 = 1970

1 = 1971

2 = 1972

3 = 1973

4 = 1974

5 – 1975

6 – 1976

7 – 1977

8 = 1978

9 = 1979

Here the number is zero, and the year is 1970.

Manufacture Date: April 1970

Style 5 – 7 Characters: Pre-1970

This style used all numbers and was primarily used in the 1960s. The only manufacture date information provided in the serial number was the year the unit was made.

Again, pretty odd that they would use just one number for the year. It seems short-sighted.

Sample Serial #:  7257801

Year: The year of manufacture is the first number, 1 through 9. Here the number is 7, so the year is likely 1967.

Did you know? Payne is a Carrier brand. The units are identical to Carrier and Bryant models, though Payne’s lineup is limited to the most popular units. Where Carrier might make 15 ACs, Payne offers about 5.

Written by

Rene has worked 10 years in the HVAC field and now is the Senior Comfort Specialist for PICKHVAC. He holds an HVAC associate degree from Lone Star College and EPA & R-410A Certifications.

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