Ask an Inspector – How old are my HVAC appliances?



Ever take a look at your furnace, air conditioner or water heater, and wonder how old they are? Very seldom will you find a manufacturers date on them. Interestingly enough, the age is always located in the Serial Number located on the data plate. That’s right. The serial number for these appliances contains the date of manufacturing.


With some companies, it’s the first two digits, with some the third and fourth digit, some even use letters to designate a year. Confusing, right? So, the question becomes how do I find the date hidden within the serial number? Simple. Go to This is the website that all inspectors in the United States use to identify the age of utilities. There you will find keys to reading data plates for all manufacturers. It’s free to use, so no need to guess.


-Robert Ladd
Legacy Home Inspections