Packaged Unit vs Split HVAC System

packaged unit vs split hvac system

You have many different options for heating and cooling your home. Many people are familiar with a central HVAC system, but may not know it could be packaged into one or split into two. Which is best for your home depends on your heating and cooling needs, and your budget. Below we describe packaged unit vs split HVAC system.

Packaged Unit

A packaged unit holds all the components of the air conditioning equipment and the furnace. The coils, fan and motors are all in one unit. A packaged unit is usually installed on the roof of the home, but could also be on a concrete slab next to the home. Most of the time however, these types of units are used in commercial buildings.

Packaged Unit Advantages

  • Space Saver

Homes that may not have that much space available with small yards or small interior space can benefit from a packaged system. There will be no need to have a dedicated closet or climbing into the attic for the furnace.

  • Maintenance all in one

A packaged unit houses all major HVAC components, so they are easily accessible for a technician to perform maintenance. A packaged unit allows the technician to be able to look at everything at once.

It can cost less to install a packaged unit, because all components of the HVAC are packaged in one unit and is generally less labor intensive to install.

  • Low Indoor Noise

Since a packaged unit, doesn’t have an indoor component it means a quieter home too. If the packaged unit is regularly maintained and is kept in good condition it shouldn’t make enough noise that it causes disturbance inside the home. However, noise should not be the only factor that influences your decision when deciding between a packaged or split HVAC system.

Packaged Unit Disadvantages

  • Roof Location

Packaged systems are often seen at businesses. Roof installation can be a bit complicated depending on the type and pitch of the roof you have. Furthermore, sometimes a roof installation can lead to a leak inside the home.

  • Energy Efficiency

A packaged system is not as energy efficient as a split-system.

  • Outdoor Location

The components of a packaged system are all housed outdoors. As a result, they are more susceptible to the negative effects of the weather can develop rust sooner. Wildlife can also make their way inside of the system to set up a nest or damage wiring.

Split System

A split system has two parts an indoor and outdoor unit. The indoor unit consists of the furnace and the evaporator coil. Most of the time the air handler which sends the cooled air through the duct system is a part of the furnace. The outdoor unit is the compressor and condenser.

Split System Advantages

  • Indoor Location

The evaporator coil and fan will have a longer lifespan since they will not be housed outdoors and suffer from weather damage. Keep in mind that you still must get regular maintenance completed and change the AC filter regularly to keep it in good working order. However, the compressor of a split system will remain outdoors. If the compressor gets damaged then there will be less to fix, than if the whole system were outdoors.

  • Energy Savings

Split systems offer higher energy efficiency than package units. Some split systems offer SEER ratings higher than 20, which can lead to noticeable improvements in energy consumption and indoor air quality. Even though the upfront cost of a higher SEER unit is high, it can save you money over the lifetime of the system.

Split System Disadvantage

  • Complex Installation

A split system needs to be properly connected with your ducts in two places. Correct installation is a must to ensure efficiency of the system. The cost to install a split system is higher, because it requires the installation of the indoor and outdoor components. If a split system is not installed properly by a knowledgeable trained professional, it may not work as it should.

How To Decide

A split system would be the most economical option if you already have a furnace and need to install an air conditioner. Ultimately, your decision comes down to the size of your home and how high of an efficiency you are looking for. If you are not sure what would be best for your home, give us a call at (818) 341-3406 or contact us online and we can help you. To learn more about services we offer, please visit our homepage.

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