The ARI reference number for an air conditioner guarantees it to have Energy Star efficiency, the proper SEER rating and the right amount cooling. Every new air conditioning unit sold must have the ARI reference number.

What is ARI reference number.
A residential central air conditioner has two main parts: the condensing unit installed outside of the house and the evaporator installed inside the ductwork. For an air conditioner to work up to specs or even to work at all, these two components must be properly matched.

Each condenser works properly with only a limited number of evaporator models. Each of the matches has a unique identifier — the ARI reference number.

Another must have component of the air conditioning system is air flow. Air flow is provided by the furnace (fan coil, air handler). For most of 14 SEER units and for virtually all higher SEER air conditioners and heat pumps, manufacturers also prescribe the particular furnace (air handler) models to be used. If this is the case, the furnace model is also included in ARI number.

It brings the total number of must have components to three:

  1. Condensing Unit
  2. Evaporator (coil, blower coil)
  3. Furnace (fan coil, blower coil, air handler)

How To Check ARI Reference Number .
On the invoice, among other information, you contractor must show three crucial pieces of data –

the model number for the condenser, the model number for the evaporator, and the ARI reference number.

Before the evaporator gets concealed inside the ductwork for good, check that the model number on the evaporator matches the number on the invoice. Do the same for the condenser.

Go to HRAI Directory. Enter the ARI reference number from the invoice as shown below. Click “Search”. The site will give you the model numbers for the condenser and for the evaporator, as well as the SEER rating for the air conditioner and its cooling capacity (See the picture at the bottom). The numbers must match the numbers on the invoice. (Symbol * stands for any digit or letter)

As we can see in the picture, this particular ARI number 3598225 describes a system that also includes the furnace.
About ARI. It stands for Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute. ARI is an internationally recognized leader in developing standards for HVAC products, as well as certifying their performance.


ARI Reference Number
Replacing Air Conditioner
Cost of Air Conditioning