Not all PTACs are created equal. Not all are suited for every use, either.
You don’t want to invest in a PTAC unit that ends up being a poor fit for your situation. That’s why it’s always a good idea to find out exactly what you need before you go looking for it.
So what do you need? Well, a variety of factors can make any PTAC the right or wrong choice for you.
Here are some things to take into consideration before you go hunting for the perfect PTAC.
Before anything else, you’ll need to know what your budget is. That will filter your possibilities down considerably. By knowing up front what’s out of your price range and what isn’t, you can save yourself plenty of time.
First things first: how much are you willing to spend on a PTAC (or multiple PTACs)? That’s the sort of thing no one can really decide for you. The answer could range anywhere based on how much money you have to spare and how important it is to you to get a high-end model.
So, what’ll that budget limit be for you? It’s your call to make. (But you do have to make it.)
Your region’s climate is going to have a major impact on what PTAC works best for you.
- If you live somewhere that gets especially cold in the winter, you might want a PTAC with electric heat since they’re much more efficient for heating than heat pump alternatives.
- On the other hand, if your region has mild winters or stays warm year round, there isn’t really any reason a heat pump model won’t suffice.
- An especially cold climate will also make optional features like an anti-freezing system important, while a hot climate will mean you’d want a dehumidification feature.
- Other factors such as the average snowfall and propensity for harsh weathers (and what kinds your region is vulnerable to) will also affect the decision.
Take the specifics of your region and look into which types of PTACs are designed to meet the unique needs of your geographic region and the associated climate.
3. Room Size
By and large, PTACs are only meant to heat or cool one room at a time. It’s one of the advantages of using PTACs in the first place, but it also means you’ll need to get a PTAC that’s right for the size of the room in question.
The power of a PTAC is measured in Btu, or British thermal units. (Don’t let the name steer you wrong: it’s the system used for American products.)
Here’s a handy chart to give you a rough idea of what Btu range is best for different spaces:
- 100–150 sq. feet: 5,000 Btu
- 150–250 sq. feet: 6,000 Btu
- 250–300 sq. feet: 7,000 Btu
- 300–350 sq. feet: 8,000 Btu
- 350–400 sq. feet: 9,000 Btu
- 400–450 sq. feet: 10,000 Btu
- 450–550 sq. feet: 12,000 Btu
- 550–700 sq. feet: 15,000 Btu
- 700–1,000 sq. feet: 18,000 Btu
- 1,000–1,200 sq. feet: 21,000 Btu
- 1,200–1,400 sq. feet: 23,000 Btu
- 1,400–1,600 sq. feet: 25,000 Btu
- 1,600–1,900 sq. feet: 28,000 Btu
- 1,900–2,700 sq. feet: 36,000 Btu
Now, there are other factors that matter other than just the size of the room. These include:
- Where is the building located? For example, is it in the desert or the mountains?
- How many people typically occupy the room?
- Are there any heat-producing appliances in the room, such as ovens?
- How high are the ceilings?
- How heavily is the room insulated?
- How many windows does the room have?
- What directions do the windows face? Does it get morning or afternoon sun? How much sunlight will be coming in?
- Is the room on an interior or exterior corridor?
4. Energy Efficiency
How important is it to you to conserve energy? Obviously, saving money on your monthly electricity bill is a major plus, but there can be other motivations for wanting to reduce the amount of energy you’re using.
For PTACs, energy efficiency is measured using the EER (energy efficiency ratio). The higher the rating, the more energy efficient the unit is going to be.
Most units with higher energy efficiency are going to cost more up front, but they’ll also probably end up saving you big bucks on your energy bills in the long run.
5. Preferred Noise Level
PTACs can be the quietest climate control option, but that doesn’t make them all equally quiet.
PTAC units come with either a one-fan or two-fan system. Two-fan systems have one fan on the condenser side of the unit and one on the evaporator side. These are usually much quieter. The two-fan system is often the only way to get an especially quiet system, as most major brands all have roughly the same noise levels otherwise. While different PTAC brands do research their noise levels, they all use different standards for testing, so there isn’t any continuity.
So if it’s important that it be very quiet—for example, if you’re managing a hotel and you want your guests to be able to rest without any distracting buzzing from their room’s PTAC—then you’ll probably want to invest in a two-fan PTAC system.
So what’s best for you?
I can’t give you all the right answers, but hopefully now you have a better idea of the right questions.
Oh, and if you could use even more free help…
We’d love to help you take the guesswork out of picking the right PTAC for your situation. That’s why we’re offering this helpful PDF resource for free. It has clear graphics and a handy table of Btu ranges—because a picture is always worth a thousand words, especially when it comes to things like plugin types.
With this free booklet, you’ll be well on your way to making the right call.
So click Free Download to take a major step in the right direction.
And if you’d like a little personalized 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.