PTACs, (packaged terminal air conditioners) come in one of two types, each using a different technology to heat and cool a space.
Neither is obviously superior to the other in all cases; both have their own pros and cons.
Deciding which is right for you will depend on what exactly you need it for and where you live.
Here are some pointers to help out.
PTACs with Heat Pumps
The first type of packaged terminal air conditioner is the heat pump variety. These typically have a four-way valve that reverses the refrigerant’s flow and cooling cycle.
PTACs with heat pumps generally cost more up front—something like $60–$70 extra in most cases. Fortunately, that higher bill at the start will pay off through energy efficiency in the long run. You can expect to save a bundle in electric bills over the life of the unit.
However, PTACs with heat pumps aren’t going to be nearly as effective as electric heat when it comes to heating a room.
If your primary purpose for a unit is to cool your space in the summer or you have mild winters, a heat pump model is probably going to work just fine.
If, however, you’re planning to use the PTAC as a main source of heat, a heat pump probably won’t suffice—especially if you live somewhere that gets extremely cold in the winter months.
So, if you intend to use your unit mostly for cooling in a temperate climate, PTACs with heat pumps might be the best option for you. They’ve even become increasingly popular recently because of their reputation for energy efficiency.
But what if you need a little more heating power?
PTACs with Electric Heat
The second type of PTAC is the electric heat model. These have an additional heating element near the vents.
Units with electric heat cost less at the start, but due to their lower energy efficiency, you’ll likely end up spending more on your electricity bill in the long run.
On the other hand, electric heat packaged terminal air conditioners often last longer than their heat pump counterparts. They also operate at quieter levels.
But the real reason you should consider an electric heat packaged terminal air conditioner isn’t because of the up-front savings, the longer lifespan, or the quiet operation. It’s because it will be vastly superior as a heater.
If you want a PTAC that will get the job done when that next blizzard rolls around, an electric heat model is probably your best bet. It’ll keep on working even at the lowest temperatures.
When you’re snowed in and the wind is howling outside through a frigid night, having electric heat will go a long way toward real comfort and peace of mind.
It’s your call…mostly.
Unfortunately, we can’t tell you whether a packaged terminal air conditioner with electric heat or a heat pump is right for you. That depends on where you are and what you need.
But we can help. 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.