Central HVAC systems come in two main varieties: split units and packaged units. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. In this piece, we’ll look at packaged units and why you might consider one for your next HVAC purchase.
In a packaged unit, the components for the air conditioning and the furnace are all in one box. They’re most often used in commercial buildings, but they are also used in homes and apartments with limited space requirements.
Why Get a Packaged Unit?
Space is the main reason to install a packaged unit system. There’s no need to have a utility closet for the furnace, nor does it take up space in the attic or basement. They’re usually installed on the roofs of commercial buildings or on the side of a house.
Since all the parts are outside in one box, these systems are easier to maintain. They also have a lower installation cost for the same reason. Packaged units are also quieter inside since all the parts are outside.
They can also be a lot more powerful than split units. Packaged units are the go-to choice for large buildings like restaurants, hotels, and warehouses.
Disadvantages of Packaged Units
Since packaged units are often installed on roofs, that adds complexity to maintenance depending on the roof you have and its slope. Also, should your unit develop a leak, it could cause water damage to your roof or attic space.
They are also more susceptible to weather damage since everything is outdoors. Rust will set in faster, and a packaged unit might make an attractive home to a small animal or bird. It will need regular inspection and maintenance to keep up with these problems.
Finally, they are less energy efficient than split systems. It’s difficult to get a packaged unit with a very high SEER rating. SEER ratings are like MPG ratings for cars. The higher the rating, the more efficient they are.
Is a Packaged Unit Right for My Building?
If your home already has a split system, it’s better to keep the split system. The ductwork for each system is different. But for new installs, ask yourself these questions:
- Is the noise of my HVAC system a problem for me?
- Do I have a flat roof or an empty space on the side of the building to hold the unit?
- Is maximizing interior space a top priority for me?
- Do I need to heat or cool a very large or complicated space?
- Am I comfortable going onto the roof of my building to check the unit, or having someone do it for me?
- Am I willing to get more frequent inspections due to environmental wear and tear?
If the answer to these questions is yes, a packaged unit may be the best option for your next HVAC install. Find out if your home is compatible with packaged unit HVAC systems by contacting Ambient Edge. We’ll inspect your property and tell you which models would work best.