What Is a Packaged Air Conditioner in HVAC?

Split air conditioners are not efficient if you constantly need to cool all the house rooms. On the other side, a central system will require a lot of space, which can be an issue for small houses. If this is the case for you, you can consider installing a packaged air conditioner as an alternative.

Packaged air conditioners are a good choice for small houses or for cooling specific areas of the house. They are also a solution if you want to avoid installing a duct system.

An Overview of the Technology

A packaged air conditioner is a cooling system with all the components covered inside one unit. Like a central system, the package system also connects to ductwork to distribute the chilled air to every room on the property. Like any other air conditioning system, the components inside the packaged unit include a blower fan, an evaporator, a condenser, a compressor, and air handlers.

The most significant advantage that a packaged unit has over other air conditioning systems is that it takes up very little space. In addition, these units are usually placed on the roof or the ground, making them ideal for small homes and businesses. Another advantage is that they are straightforward to install, saving you money on installation costs.

With all the parts packed in one unit like a window AC unit, this technology is more compact and space-saving. Some units can also be energy-efficient, depending on the SEER rating of each model. 

A packaged air conditioner unit is located outside the house, usually on the rooftop, making it more convenient for smaller homes. However, this also means that the unit will be more prone to weather damage and pest attacks. Hence, the expected lifespan is generally shorter than for central systems.

How Does the System Work?

A packaged air conditioner system is similar to any other air cooling system. The air that comes into the machine flows through the evaporator coils. Refrigerant agents absorb the excess heat, so the air turns cold. While the cold air flows back to the room, the refrigerant carries the heat to the condenser unit to release it to the open air outside the house. After finishing its job, the refrigerant turns back to the evaporator to repeat the cycle.

If your home doesn’t have central air, you may be considering a packaged air conditioner system. This system is similar to a central air conditioning system, but the evaporator and condenser are both located in one unit that sits outside your home. Packaged air conditioner systems are available in both gas and electric models.

Air distribution happens through ductwork that synchronizes all over your house. The warm unconditioned air gets sucked through the return register, while the chilled air enters the room through the supply inlet.

Heating Capability

Although a regular packaged air conditioner offers just a cooling system, this type of air conditioner system can also warm up the indoor air by adding heating strips to the installation. With electrical power, these strips will heat up. As the air passes through them, the temperature will rise as well. Hence, the air will be warm when it flows back to the room.

This kind of heating system is not very effective in freezing temperatures because heat strips are limited in how much heat they can generate. Thus, the system may not be sufficient for winter, depending on your climate. A packaged AC unit with heat strips is more suitable for places with warmer climates.

There are a variety of packaged air conditioners with different benefits and different types of systems. They also have various capabilities to accommodate different house sizes. Have your home measured and buy the unit that will meet your home’s needs.



ECM Air Conditioning, with its headquarters located in Boynton Beach, FL, provides air conditioning services within Palm Beach County, Broward County, Martin County, and St. Lucie County. If you’re looking to have a new HVAC system installed, we’re on-call and ready to assist you. So if you’re in need of an HVAC installation, don’t hesitate to contact us today to schedule an inspection! Our HVAC installation experts will check your ductwork, measure, check wire sizes, and more before making recommendations to ensure maximum efficiency and comfort. Call us at 561-295-1763 or contact our HVAC installation team online by clicking here.


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