Choosing My Contractor

Choosing My Contractor

What's The Difference Between PTAC And Portable Air Conditioners?

Diego Rojas

Picking the right air conditioner can be pretty difficult, and there are a lot of options to choose from. To narrow down your choices and help you come to a more informed decision, here are two alternative cooling solutions that you might not have considered:

Portable Air Conditioners

For situations where you only want to heat one or two rooms, a portable unit is one of the best choices. There are pretty simple, generating cold air for your home, while venting the heat waste outside. This means that you don't need to rely on a complicated ventilation system to get what you want. If you don't already have a ventilation system in place, or if your air ducts are just getting old, then a portable AC can save you a lot of time and money.

There are some downsides, such as diminished efficiency when compared to central ACs. You won't be able to cool your entire home as effectively. On top of that, you will need to actually set up the exhaust system for your AC. The heat waste needs to be dumped somewhere, and that means that you will need to integrate your AC with a window or a similar access point to the exterior of your home.

Package Terminal Air Conditioners

At the other end of the spectrum, you have PTAC units, which are often used in situations where you need to cool a lot of rooms at the same time, such as in hotels, hospitals, or offices. A PTAC unit is essentially a mix between a heat pump and a window air conditioner.

On the heat pump side, a package terminal air conditioner can be reversed, meaning that it can either heat or cool your room. During summer, you can remove the heat from your room and dump it outside, whereas you can do the opposite in winter, taking heat from the air outside your room and dump it inside. PTACs also suffer from some of the same problems as other heat pumps, experiencing dramatically reduced efficiency when it comes to heating during very cold months, since there isn't very much heat to take from cold air.

On the window air conditioner side, PTACs are used to control the temperature in individual rooms and are often installed to directly interface between the inside and outside of your room. This can be done through windows, but can also be done through a hole in the wall that was specifically created to hold the appliance.

As far as downsides are concerned, one of these units will likely cost you more than other options. If you want to have a versatile HVAC system, then a heat pump that is integrated with your ventilation will likely be a lot more valuable, since it will be able to affect more than a single room.

For more information, contact Associated Mechanical Contractors, Inc. or a similar company.


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About Me
Choosing My Contractor

By the time I finally finished saving money for my new home, I knew that I wanted something special. I didn't want to buy a starter home, and I really didn't want to deal with fixing up an older place. Instead of scouring the market and dealing with real estate agents, I decided to work with a general contractor to start building a place of my own. However, I didn't choose my contractor willy nilly either. I spend hours interviewing and researching various construction firms until I found the business I wanted to work with. This blog is all about working with contractors, so that you can make better construction decisions.