A PTAC unit or packaged terminal air conditioner is a common air condition appliance that you can find in hotels, rental properties, or even in houses. It is the best option if you want a solution that offers cooling and heating.
Generally, when installing a PTAC unit, it is through a wall. You can find one placed via an external wall above the floor and beneath a window. The majority of models include both cooling and heating, along with a durable structure that makes them a popular choice in the hospitality industry.
Most have components that can endure extreme weather conditions and can provide convenient cooling and heating. Aside from hotels, you can also find them in offices, sunrooms, and assisted living facilities.
When you are planning to add a PTAC unit to your house, there are considerations to remember to find the right one.
PTAC units utilize two types of heat – electric heat or heat pump. Comparing a PTAC heat pump vs electric heat is essential so you can choose one that best fits your needs.
- Electric heat. The PTAC models with electric heat utilize electricity along with a heating element that works by heating the air as it flows via the piece. A strong fan distributes the warm air around the space, similar to the cool air while in AC mode.
- Heat pumps. Other units utilize heat pumps which work by reversing the cooling sequence to shift warm air into the room. With this form of heating, it is highly efficient and popular in areas with hot climates.
The majority of the PTAC models typically come with heat pumps and an electric heat back up that you can use during the colder months.
Cooling Power And Room Size
When it comes to the cooling capacity of a PTAC unit, the British Thermal Units (BTUs) per hour is the basis. If you are going after high efficiency, go for a PTAC unit with a BTU level that covers a square foot of the room or space. Remember that when a PTAC unit does not have adequate BTU power to cover an entire room, it will strain to lower the temperature. As a result, your utility bills will rise significantly over time.
If the unit has a large BTU capacity for a room, it cannot remove humidity properly from the air. The outcome is a room that feels damp and clammy. One way to ensure that you are making the right choice is to confirm if your PTAC unit is the suitable size for the room.
Always remember that PTACs are large, commercial-grade appliances that often need a powerful voltage than the standard ones. You should make sure that the room has wiring capable of handling the high voltage requirement that the model requires.
Energy Efficiency Ratio
The Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) measures the efficiency ratio of PTAC units. If the EER is high, you have a more efficient model. Make sure that you will compare the EER of the model you are planning to get with other choices. An efficient PTAC unit can help save money on the operation and energy costs.
Additionally, PTAC with heat pumps are overall more economical than the ones that work with electric heat.
Wall Sleeve And Grille
When it comes to the PTAC wall sleeve and external grille, you should buy them separately, especially for new construction. In case you are going to replace a worn-out or old PTAC unit, you can still reuse the current sleeve and grille depending on the size and overall condition.
In most PTAC unit models, nearly all of them are 42-inches in diameter, but you should scrutinize the dimensions before using a current sleeve for a newer model.
Useful Qualities To Consider
Aside from the functional aspect of the PTAC unit, there are also features that you should take into consideration when choosing one.
- Quiet operation. If you are going to place a PTAC unit in a bedroom or study, you should go for those that are made of superior materials and have noise-reducing technology.
- Central controls. Certain brands of PTACs will allow you to control several units from a central location. With these models, they are a suitable option for hotels who want to regulate the temperature in the guest rooms. A hotel can save money and energy in the long run once they program their PTAC units to a given temperature limit.
- Washable filters. You can readily wash the easy-access filters to save money on replacements while at the same time keeping the air fresh.
- Adjustable louvers. With this feature, it enables you to direct the cool or warm air in a specific direction in the room or space.
Whether for commercial use or as an extra upgrade to a room in your house, a PTAC unit is a good investment that can provide a comfortable environment while energy-efficient at the same time. By taking into consideration these tips, you will find the ideal PTAC unit that can ensure a comfortable space without experiencing spikes on your utility bill every month.