What is a package unit?
Package units are an all-inclusive boxed heating and cooling system contrary to split systems that only use one of those aspects. They most often are used for small houses or commercial offices which do not have space for an indoor furnace or air handler. The package unit is usually located outside the residence most likely in the backyard, porch, or on the roof.
What makes the package unit stand apart is its portability. It can connect with any indoor HVAC system, providing cool relief from the onslaught of bad ventilation. One of the most convenient HVAC choices, package units contain all necessary parts inside the box, making for streamlined air conditioning and heating experience.
How do package units work?
It all starts with a click of a button on your thermostat, delegating the desired temperature into your home. The air travels in through the supply duct, creating the desired temperature. When the air loses the desired temperature, it circulates through the package unit again.
Located outside of the residence, package units are filled with all of the necessary parts to either cool or heat up the inside. Depending on the type of package unit, either the heat pump, electric AC/fan, or gas furnace/coil create the desired temperature chosen on your thermostat inside.
To create heat, the package unit will use the coil and heat pump, or gas to create the warmed up air that then spreads to the indoors. As for cooler air, the AC uses the cooling fan, which builds up the colder air. The AC portion not only inputs cool air but removes hot air through the compressor pumps refrigerant and evaporator coil.
Package Unit Parts
The AC package units contain a cooling fan, heat pump, and electric resistant heat strips which work together to create cold air. Inside the packaged units for heat, electric types will use heat pumps and a coil to create warm air. However, for extremely cold temperatures, certain package units will use natural gas or propane for greater warmth sourced from the package unit.
All package units use the blower to distribute cooling or heating to your indoor space. Inside the package unit, a condenser coil and evaporator coil are used in tandem to take out the hot or cool air in your residence. A compressor is also a necessary part of your package unit, acting as the main power source.
Types of Package Units
There are four different types of package units; air conditioners, heat pumps, gas/electric, and dual-fuel.
Packaged Air Conditioner
Air conditioner package units are what keep you cool in the blazing Texas heat and contain an AC along with an air handler.
Packaged Heat Pump
Heat pumps use electricity to supply both your heating and cooling needs indoors. The packaged heat pump is great for Texans who rarely have to endure frigid temperatures.
Finally the duel-fuel package unit, also known as a hybrid unit, uses its heat pump for AC during the spring and summer. Once temperatures drop during the fall, the air pump is used for heating. During an extremely worrisome winter, when temperatures drop even further below the freezing point, the duel-fuel package uses gas for much needed heat.
A packaged duel-fuel can help lower your bill, due to gas only being used below the 32 degrees Fahrenheit temperature mark.
A gas/electric package unit is just what it sounds like; it employs gas heating come winter time and electric AC during the warmer months. It contains an AC and gas furnace perfect for smaller homes that do not have space for a coil or furnace.
How to Choose the Best Package Unit
First off, it is important to decide which package unit is the best choice for your home or office. If there is already a furnace inside your home, this is not the right choice for you. However, if you are located in a smaller space that does not contain a furnace or air handler, then the outside package unit is your best bet.
For those who undergo harsher temperatures in winter time, the packaged gas/electric or packaged duel-fuel are good options due to the natural gas providing extra heating. However, if your temperature range is not as varied, the electric based heat pump package or AC package are your better choices.