When the mercury rises, your home can become uncomfortable quickly without a reliable cooling system. One of the best ways to beat the summer heat is to install an AC unit.

Packaged Terminal Air Conditioner (PTAC) units are an excellent option, no matter where you live—but what are PTAC units, and how can you find the best PTAC units for your home? We’ll cover that and more in this guide.

What is a PTAC Unit?

Packaged terminal air conditioners are a type of ductless cooling and heating unit. Because of their convenience and flexibility, these units are common in hotels and motels where guests need to be in control of the climate in their room without having any effect on the rest of the building.

Why Choose a PTAC Unit?

PTAC units offer a wealth of benefits in a simple, cost-effective package. Some of these benefits include:

Convenience
If you choose to install a central AC unit, you’ll need to have ductwork completed to allow the air to travel throughout your home. Since PTAC units are ductless, they’re much simpler to install.

Savings
PTAC units are less expensive to install than central AC systems. However, they draw more energy than their alternatives, so the savings won’t be significant if you’ll be using the unit often.

Controlled cooling
Do you need to cool your entire building? Or do you just need to cool off a particular room? PTACs offer you the ability to control the climate in one room without wasting resources or affecting the rest of the building.

Types of PTAC Units

PTACs are powered by either heat pumps or electric heat.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are the best option if you’re using your PTAC mostly as an air conditioner and won’t rely on it for heating.

Pros

  • Energy efficient
  • Quick, efficient cooling

Cons

  • More expensive upfront
  • Less powerful heating system

Electric Heaters

Electric heat PTAC units are ideal if you need to use your PTAC as a heater throughout the winter and as an AC in the warmer months.

Pros

  • Functions equally as well as a heater in the winter
  • Less expensive at the time of purchase
  • Quieter than the alternative

Cons

  • Less energy-efficient
  • More expensive over time

How to Choose the Best PTAC Units

Not all PTAC units are created equal, and not all of them will work well for every building. To help you find the best match for your needs, let’s take a closer look at factors to consider while shopping.

Your Region

One of the best ways to initially narrow down your search is to consider where you live. Are you in an area where it’s hot all year round? Do you need your unit to act as a heating system as well?

If you live in a region with four seasons, you’ll want to look at PTAC units that offer heating and cooling. By contrast, if you happen to live in the south where the weather is rarely chilly, you can likely save money by purchasing a PTAC unit that only offers cooling functionality.

Assuming you intend to use the PTAC as a primary heat source, you should concentrate your search on units which have an electric heat pump.

Room Size

Before you start shopping for PTAC units, determine the square footage of the room you’ll use it in.

Your square-footage will determine how many BTUs the unit needs to efficiently cool or heat the space. As a rule, the larger the room, the more BTUs you need. However, you may also need to purchase a higher BTU unit if the room experiences more extreme temperatures.

Purchasing the right level of power for your space will ensure you have an efficient unit that creates a comfortable environment all year long.

Noise Level

Some units generate more noise than others, so it’s smart to look into reviews and get a sense of how much noise it will add to your space, especially if you’re a light sleeper or spend your day talking on the phone.

Voltage

You’ll also need to know the voltage of your unit. If you’re shopping for a home unit, the voltage will be 208/240. If you’re shopping for a commercial space, your unit may be 265/277 volt.

Amps and Electrical Cords

Check your electrical panel to determine how many amps your unit needs. It will always be either 15, 20, or 30 amps.

The amps also affect what type of power cord your unit will have, although many manufacturers allow you to specify the type of cord you need when you make your purchase.

The Cost

Naturally, the cost of the unit will play a part in your decision. How much you pay depends on a number of different factors, including the type of unit you choose and how powerful it is. You’ll also need to factor the cost of accessories like an external grill and a wall sleeve into the total purchase price.

When determining the cost, keep the energy use in mind. PTAC units use a considerable amount of energy to function, and that cost can add up if you’re using the unit daily. While energy-efficient models generally cost more upfront, the long-term savings may make it worth your while.

Unit Durability and Available Warranties

When you invest in a PTAC unit, it’s important to make sure your purchase will stand the test of time. After all, you plan to rely on it to keep you comfortable. Take your time to read customer reviews and investigate how long the manufacturer guarantees the unit through warranties.

If you’re searching for an affordable option protected by a warranty, explore refurbished PTAC units. These warranty-backed units are professionally restored by industry experts, offering you the opportunity to get a high-quality product at a great value.

Final Thoughts

Purchasing a PTAC unit for your home is a simple, smart way to create an ideal environment in any room. No matter where you live or what your needs are, there’s a unit fit for your needs.

For more help determining which PTAC unit is right for your space, input your information into this simple calculator: