Packaged HVAC systems house all of their components, like the heating and cooling components, in a single unit. Where split systems, like standard central split or ductless mini splits, require both an indoor and outdoor unit, packaged HVAC systems require only one unit. This unit typically gets placed outside, either on the roof of a commercial building or on the side of a home. They may see use heating and cooling homes without a basement or crawlspace while larger units may install on the roof of a commercial or multi-tenant residential building.
You can choose from a few types of packaged HVAC systems:
A packaged air conditioner houses the compressor, evaporator coil, condenser coil, and air handler in a single unit. A packaged air conditioner typically only cools but may offer heating using heat strips. They work well in areas with limited space as they require less space than a split system.
Packaged gas-electric units combine an electric air conditioner and gas-powered furnace technology.
Packaged heat pump systems utilize a heat pump to heat and cool a home. They combine heating and cooling components as well as an air handler into a single unit. They can keep your home comfortable in an energy efficient way.
Packaged dual-fuel systems, sometimes called hybrid units, operate similarly to packaged heat pumps. However, these systems utilize a gas furnace as well. The heat pump provides efficient air conditioning during the warmer months and heat in cooler temperatures. Once the temperature drops in the winter months, the gas furnace takes over to provide heat instead.
Modular blowers function as part of a gas and electric split system. Similar to an air handler, modular blowers distribute conditioned air through the building they're installed in.
SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. SEER ratings function as an efficiency rating to measure how efficiently the AC unit operates. The higher this rating, the more efficiently it works. The minimum standard SEER rating for air conditioners is 13, though older AC units may operate with a lower SEER rating.
Room air conditioners cool a single room or space, unlike central air which can cool multiple rooms. A room air conditioner could be a window, wall, or portable air conditioner. Central air conditioners provide cool air from a central location and utilize ductwork to transfer that air. Central AC systems can provide more energy efficiency than a room air conditioner, which, in the long run, leads to energy savings!