Finding the right PTAC is no small task. There is a wide range of factors to take into consideration. Once you’re looking at actual PTAC units for sale, you’ll need to take note of a whole lot of little details to make sure you get the right one.
Here’s what you need to know when looking at PTAC units for sale:
PTAC units are the best option for energy-efficient, cost-effective climate control. Including both heating and cooling, they can help you save as much as 20 percent on your annual utility costs.
However, that doesn’t mean they all cost the same. As you might guess, they come in a broad range of prices. Only you can determine your budget—but it’s worth doing. Once you know how much cash you have to play with, you’ll be able to narrow your options down quite a bit.
If you’re replacing an existing PTAC unit, you’ll need to make sure you know the exact measurements so you can look through any PTAC units for sale to make sure they’ll fit the previous space.
If you’re installing a new PTAC without any previous unit, then you’ll have a bit more flexibility when it comes to picking a size. However, you should still measure the area where you’ll be installing the new unit. You’ll need to make sure you get one that fits there.
PTACs are typically installed near floor level—often under windows. Make sure you won’t end up with a unit that’s too large for the space in question.
3. Btu (Power)
The output of your ideal PTAC unit depends on the size of the room it will be conditioning.
One of the first things you’ll want to know is how many Btu (British Thermal Units) the space will need. To make this easier, you can use a Btu calculator.
- If you purchase a unit with a low Btu, it will use more energy than required, overworking the unit and shortening its life span.
- If you get a unit with too high a Btu, it can cause uncomfortable humidity and affect the overall operation of the unit.
So, make sure you get one that’s the right size. It’s worth calculating.
4. Heat Type
When you go looking for PTAC units for sale, remember: all PTACs cool and heat through one of two methods: heat pump or electric heat.
- PTAC units with heat pumps usually cost more up front, often with an addition of around $60 or $70.
- They’re much more energy-efficient, though, you can expect to save on your electric bills for the life of the unit—eventually earning back the additional cost.
- Heat pumps are less powerful than electric heat PTACs when it comes to heating up a room.
So, if you’re mostly going to be using your PTAC for cooling or you have only mild winters, a heat pump model will probably suffice.
- PTAC units with electric heat cost less up front.
- They do, however, use more energy, and you’ll end up investing more in the long run.
- They’re much more powerful as heaters. Electric heat can take on serious cold snaps and even function as a primary heater for a room.
So, if you plan to be doing a lot of heating with your PTAC (especially in a climate with cold winters), it’s probably worth going for a PTAC model with electric heat.
5. Plug Type & Electrical Requirements
When you’re shopping through PTAC units for sale, it’s essential to know what type of plug is required for each. You’ll need to be sure the plug type corresponds correctly with the outlet you’ll be using.
There are three different options when it comes to the amperage of a PTAC. All three are determined exclusively by the unit’s heating capacity. The cooling Btu has no bearing on the amperage.
- 2.5 kW heat: 15 amp
- 3.5 kW heat: 20 amp
- 5.0 kW heat: 30 amp
It’s important to verify the breaker sizes before ordering any units. At plenty of properties, the installed outlets don’t match the breakers, and breaker amperage is the most important factor for PTAC performance.
If you’re replacing an existing air conditioner, check the data plate on the chassis to determine the amp draw, and make sure the plug matches the one already in use.
6. Energy Usage (EER)
EER (energy efficiency ratio) is the system used to measure a unit’s energy efficiency. The higher the rating, the more energy-efficient the unit is.
While the ratings are consistent across models, they can’t be interchanged, as each rating has its own testing procedure.
7. Noise Levels
PTAC units come with either a one-fan or a two-fan system. Two-fan systems have a fan on the condenser side and another on the evaporator side. They’re usually quieter.
In fact, getting a PTAC unit with a two-fan system is often the only way to guarantee a quieter system. Most major brands all have similar noise levels otherwise.
While different PTAC brands do use data to determine their noise levels, each one uses different standards for testing, leaving little in the way continuity.
So is it important for your PTAC unit to be especially quiet? If the answer is yes, you’ll probably want to look for PTAC units for sale with a two-fan system.
If you’re investing in a PTAC, you’ll want one that’s built to last. Make sure you’re looking for PTAC units that promise (and can actually deliver) a good life span.
Look over the customer reviews. If a model is known for breaking down early or often, reviewers will be likely to warn off future customers.
And remember: PTAC units that need work frequently will mean lots of extra expenses and days when you can’t condition a room.
Go for a brand—and model—with a reputation for lasting without needing excessive maintenance. Then make sure that reputation is deserved.
9. Ease of Maintenance
This one is linked somewhat with the previous tip, but it is a bit different.
No matter how durable a PTAC unit you get, there will probably be some need for occasional maintenance. When you’re browsing through the endless lists of PTAC units for sale, keep an eye on whether they’re designed for convenient maintenance.
For example, many brands offer units with easy access to the condenser coils for quick cleaning.
10. Manufacturer’s Warranty
Look into the warranties offered any time you seriously consider any PTAC units for sale.
A strong warranty suggests the manufacturer stands by their product and expects it to last. And if you run into any unforeseen trouble down the road, it’s good to know you have an option to rectify the situation without having to start from scratch.
Ready to go PTAC shopping?
Hopefully, you have a better idea of what you’re looking for now than you did before. Now it’s time to decide exactly what you need, make some measurements, and start hunting through the PTAC units for sale in your budget.
We’re rooting for you. In fact, if you’d like a little expert advice on picking the right PTACs for your property, give us a call at (888) 458-7822.
Or, you can fill out this contact form, and we’ll follow up with you.