Package terminal air conditioners, often referred to as PTACs, function as commercial air conditioning units. They install directly through the wall and often use electricity to drive refrigerant through the unit to pull heat and humidity from the air. MRCOOL package terminal air conditioners come equipped with electric heating to provide supplemental heating.
Packaged terminal heat pumps both heat and cool. Similar to a PTAC, heat pumps use a refrigeration process to provide cool air. Heat pumps can reverse this process to provide energy efficient heating as well. MRCOOL package terminal heat pumps also feature a supplemental electric heat process.
Package terminal units cannot heat or cool large areas, like entire buildings or houses. Instead, they work best in smaller rooms. Package terminal AC and heat pump units most commonly see use in hotels, but they also can provide comfortable temperatures in offices, senior living centers, dormitories, condominiums, and other similar spaces. You can also use them in add-on rooms like sunrooms or all-seasons rooms.
While their names appear similar, packaged terminal HVAC units and HVAC packaged units, like packaged air conditioners, heat pumps, gas-electric, and dual-fuel systems, function differently.
Package terminal units typically install through a wall and consist of a single unit. Additionally, they heat or cool the space they're installed in without relying on ductwork to distribute the conditioned air. Because of this, they typically only control the temperature of a smaller space.
HVAC packaged systems house all the necessary components, like the condenser and evaporator coils as well as the compressor, inside a single unit. These units install outdoors usually near the building or on the roof. They can connect to ductwork to distribute conditioned air throughout an entire home or building.