When the sun is out, temperatures could rise as unforgiving heat takes over. In these times, an air conditioning unit is the only thing that can keep you cool.
In keeping the desired room temperatures, whether warm or cold, most homes rely on a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. But not everyone can afford the huge price tag attached to its purchase and installation.
If you’d rather have a compact and cheaper alternative, consider a packaged terminal air conditioner (PTAC). These cooling and heating machines are easy to install and space-saving, making them a viable alternative. Looking to buy one? Discover how to snag the right one based on your needs.
2 Major Types Of PTAC Units
Before looking online and in-store for PTAC units, getting familiar with the uses and functions of the device are essential. Your perfect choice is hinged in these two main considerations.
PTAC Units with Heat Pump
Packaged terminal air conditioners are a bit pricier than its counterpart, but the extra costs may be recovered through reduced electric bill fees.
While more energy-efficient, PTACs with heat pumps have less heating power compared to its counterpart. If your focus is on cooling and not heating, these units are best for your needs.
PTAC Units with Electric Heat
If you live in areas where temperatures can get really low during cold months, you’ll find that a heat-pump driven PTAC won’t be enough for your needs.
PTACs that uses electric heat demands higher energy, but it’s a more efficient heating partner. Hence, if you need a device that’s equally effective in both heating and cooling your home, this type is best for you.
Read this article entitled, ‘Choosing the Right Heat Type for Your PTAC’ for more information about these two major unit classifications.
5 Main Considerations In Choosing the Best PTAC Units
Unlike centralized air-cooling systems, a PTAC unit can only cool or heat one room at a given time. In order to find out the most ideal unit for you, measure your room size and check the device’s British thermal unit (BTU). This unit of measurement is used to determine the amount of heating and cooling capacities of a device.
Generally speaking, products with high BTU are capable of providing the right temperatures for larger rooms. Additionally, if you’re located in a humid area with more sunlight all year round, you’d also want to look for a PTAC unit with higher BTU to be able to effectively cool you down.
Industry recommendations suggest that for a 150 square feet room, look for PTAC units with 5,000 BTUs, increasing it to another 1,000 BTUs for every 50 to 100 square feet size difference.
2. Energy Efficiency
Air conditioning units are known to be energy-hungry, so expect higher energy bills once you start using them. Fortunately, manufacturers of these cooling and heating devices use advanced technologies to make them more energy-efficient.
Apart from checking a PTAC unit’s BTU, look for the energy efficiency ratio rating (EER). Higher ratings mean higher energy efficiency and reduced power bill costs. Inversely, higher BTU means increased power rates.
Depending on the brand and capacity, good-quality PTAC units could range from USD$750 to USD$1,500. As expected, a higher BTU output means it can cool wider living spaces and therefore carry higher prices.
As with buying other appliances, you don’t have to jump on the cheapest unit. Choose the one that’s known for its durability, so you won’t have to shell out cash for expensive repairs shortly after purchasing it.
4. Ease of Installation and Other Features
When using PTACs, you won’t have any problems with your air conditioning installation. You simply place the unit inside the hole in your wall and you’re good to go. If you’re installing it for the first time and don’t have a wall prepared, however, it’s better to call HVAC specialist to do the job for you.
Low operational noise levels could be an important feature to some, especially those with small children. Some units claim to have low noise levels no matter what the heating type is. To be sure, choose a model with a double-fan system.
Whether summer, winter, or all-year round, expect your PTAC units to work for several hours, days and nights. That being said, choose a device that’s manufactured by companies with proven track record in the industry
Some more expensive units carry longer warranties and this can be a good sign of durability. Longer warranties could mean that each product is expected to last.
Don’t forget to scan sites that offer unbiased consumer reviews and look for what users have to say about your chosen PTAC models to further help you out.
Before choosing the best packaged terminal AC, keep a checklist of important features including power, efficiency, durability, and cost-efficiency. With proper usage, these heating and cooling devices will last a long time and remain efficient in maintaining ideal temperatures for your living spaces.