What Is A Packaged Air Conditioner Unit In HVAC?

By in , ,
What Is A Packaged Air Conditioner Unit In HVAC?

Getting a “package” deal is often one of those catchwords salespeople will use when trying to close the deal…and often trying to sell you something you don’t need. But in the HVAC world a “packaged” heating and cooling system is often a good choice for your Oxford, MI or Waterford, MI home. Let’s take a close look at what we mean by a packaged air conditioner unit system.

Defining a Package Unit

What we’re referring to is an all-in-one heating and cooling system. They are designed for homes that don’t have room indoors for a furnace and coil, or an air handler. This makes a packaged AC unit an ideal choice for homes that don’t have a basement or crawl space which is often the case with manufactured housing. 

Finding the Right System

Packaged air conditioner units come in what’s called small and large footprints. The size that’s right for you depends on the BTU/tonnage needed and type of installation. Large footprint units can usually be installed on the roof or a concrete slab next to the home. The smaller footprint systems can only be installed on a slab.

Multiple configurations

While package units may come in different sizes, they also have different configurations. Each one has benefits and drawbacks depending on what you are looking for in your home.

  • Packaged AC Unit: This is one version of an all-electric system. It is by definition an air conditioner unit and an air handler. The system can have heating capabilities by adding electric heat strips. 
  • Package Gas/Electric Systems: This should not be confused with a dual fuel system (more on that later). These units combine an air conditioner, coil, and gas furnace. This is a convenient option to provide gas heating even if you live in a house that does not have the space needed for a traditional furnace.
  • Package Heat Pumps: This is the other (some might say preferred) version of all-electric heating and air conditioning. Heat pumps are nearly identical mechanically to an air conditioner. The big difference is the addition of a reversing valve that allows a heat pump to squeeze heat from the outside air and transfer it inside during the winter.
  • Dual-Fuel System: This packaged system includes the just-mentioned heat pump paired with a gas furnace. A stand-alone heat pump may not be able to keep a Waterford, MI or Oxford, MI house comfortable because of our cold winters. With a dual fuel system, you get all the advantages of a heat pump, and when the temperature drops to a certain point the gas furnace kicks in to provide supplemental heat. 

Determining What’s Best for You

If you are ready to learn more about an ideal packaged AC unit for your home, call Kotz Heating, Cooling & Plumbing now to arrange for a no-obligation estimate. We can help you determine if a packaged HVAC unit is best for you, or if you should stay with the more traditional split system with indoor and outdoor components.