What’s Right for Me? Package Unit vs. Split-System
Your old air conditioning unit is on its last legs and you’re looking for a new one. The problem is, you don’t know what type of HVAC system will best suit your home. How do you decide?
HVAC units can be purchased and installed two separate ways, packaged or split.
As the name implies, a packaged unit will arrive at your home in one metal cabinet. The cabinet holds all of the air conditioning equipment and the furnace. This unit is installed on the roof of the home or outside on a concrete slab.
Split-systems come in two parts: a metal cabinet installed outside of the home on a concrete slab containing the compressor and the condenser, and a cabinet installed inside of the home in an attic or closet containing the evaporator and the furnace.
How to Decide
Before you purchase, take a look at the system in your home and decide if it meets the needs of your family.
Usually, a smaller home comes with a packaged system, as it may simply lack the space for a split-system unit. Note that packaged units often have shorter lifespans than split-systems. A packaged system is more exposed to the elements and therefore more likely to rust. It also makes a warm home for animals in the winter, who will sometimes nest inside of the cabinet and chew through the electrical work.
The installation of a package system, though, is more cost effective than that of a split-system. The package system comes ready to be installed, with HVAC professionals only having to create a single hole into the home to connect the system to the duct work. Package system installation comes with little chance of error, as all of the machinery comes together ready to be used. This means that the system will run as effectively as the supplier claims.
Split-systems, however, take much more care. Because a spilt-system contains two separate units, multiple connections link the units and the duct work in the home. Any error in installation will directly affect the efficiency of a split-system. If a split-system is not installed by a knowledgeable professional, it may not work to cool or heat your home at all.
If your concern is long-run cost efficiency, a split-system is still the best choice. Though installation error can affect these systems, they are more efficient than packaged systems overall. Split-systems can be purchased with SEER ratings as high as 25, while packaged systems’ SEER ratings typically range from 13-18.
Your choice comes down to the size of your home and the efficiency that you desire. If you are unsure, call the experts at Go Direct Appliance and we will help you in your selection process.