Oct 20, 2022

HVAC Split System vs Packaged Unit: Differences, Benefits, and How to Choose in 2022


HVAC, which stands for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning, is the system most homeowners use to keep their homes comfortable throughout the year.

There are two types of systems, each of which has its benefits. The main differences between them are configuration and performance. However, ultimately, they do the same thing: cooling and heating your home.

The packaged unit is an all-in-one system that is great for places without crawlspaces, whereas the split system has separate components for those with more indoor space. Depending on your home type, either one will be the right choice for you.

What is an HVAC Split System?

An HVAC split system is for homes that have space for large indoor cabinets.

The split system model holds the condenser and compressor in an outdoor cabinet. Another indoor cabinet will hold the evaporator coil, and an air handler sends the cool air through the duct system. A line set – a copper tube connecting indoor and outdoor components – moves cold air to the house.

Benefits of HVAC Split System.

• More Efficient – The SEER rating for split systems is typically 25 or above, which is much better than package systems.
• Customizable – Placement is more flexible than a large HVAC packaged unit because there are two components to a split system.
• Lower Maintenance – For ductless mini-split systems, the maintenance costs are much lower than any other central air system.
• Value-adding – The energy efficiency of HVAC split systems is so high it can potentially add resale value to your home.

Considerations of an HVAC Split System.

• Done right – A badly-installed HVAC split system can significantly reduce its efficiency and effectiveness in your home.
• Labor intensive – Higher labor costs can make split systems more expensive to install.
• Leaks – There are more moving parts in an HVAC split system, so there are more opportunities for inefficiencies. Cracks, crevices, and inadequate ductwork are just a few of the problems that can happen with split systems.

What is an HVAC Packaged Unit?

Does your home not have a crawlspace or a basement? You may want to consider an HVAC packaged unit.
The packaged HVAC unit houses all system parts in one metal cabinet. The evaporator coil, condenser, and compressor are all housed together to save space from being used inside.

The cabinet is often placed on a home or building’s ceiling or a cement slab outside the home. Specially made ductwork connects the outdoor cabinet to all the rooms in the house. Though the cabinet is outdoors, the actual functions of a packaged central air system are controlled indoors. Some packaged central air systems will also include a natural gas furnace or electric heating coils.

A packaged HVAC unit comprises everything in a central air system in one unit placed outside the home. Homes with little indoor space to house these systems – or those lacking in underground areas – will have a packaged unit.

Benefits HVAC Packaged Unit.

• Efficiency – Packaged units are assembled in factories, which typically means they are more efficient than split systems.
• Easy Installation – Packaged units are only one single unit, so they are easier and more versatile to install. This also results in less expensive installation costs and a smaller footprint on your property.
• Less Invasive – Because the package system is in one all-inclusive unit, there is no need for additional refrigerant lines.
• SEER – This acronym stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, which ranges from 13 to 18 in this unit and is considered a good rating.
• Quiet – The entire system is located outside, so you experience no noise inside your home.

Considerations for an HVAC Packaged Unit.

• Roofs – If the condenser half of your system is located on your roof, a bad installation can lead to leaks and other issues.
• Weather and animal damage – As one part of the system is located outdoors, your entire system is susceptible to weather and animal damage. Many people have found that animals will find a way inside packaged units for shelter.
• Lifespan – Packaged systems are prone to rust and typically have a shorter lifespan.

How to choose the right system.

Choosing the correct type of central air and heating HVAC system is based on several factors.

Do you currently have one of these models?
If so, stay with the type of model you have. To uninstall and reinstall a different HVAC system can be costly. You will lose out on many cost-saving benefits.

Is your home large or small? Size does matter.

For smaller homes, the packaged unit will be best. That’s because all components of the packaged system are located outside. You will be better off with a package system with smaller storage space for HVAC components.

A split system will be best for larger homes or those with a basement or crawlspace. That is because you have extra space to house components in your home.

CHA Is Here For You!

For whatever system you need, Clarksville Heating & Air support You and Your needs.

At Clarksville Heating & Air, we understand HVAC systems in and out. That means we can and will find a solution for whatever type, size, or home configuration you have.

From design and configuration to installation and maintenance, the expert technicians at CHA can ensure you have the right solution for your HVAC system needs the first time. Contact us today for a consultation on the best way to keep your home comfortable and energy-efficient with an HVAC system.

Clarksville Heating & Air (CHA) is a privately owned and operated business proudly serving homeowners’ and businesses’ heating, and air conditioning (HVAC) needs in Columbia, Ellicott City, Clarksville, Elkridge, Odenton, Severn, Laurel, Jessup and Hanover. Our service area includes the following counties: Howard, Carroll, Baltimore, Anne Arundel, Montgomery, and Prince George’s. CHA has over 40 years of heating and air conditioning experience and has earned a reputation for quality service delivered on time and budget.

We are here for you seven days a week, improving life and comfort! We are committed to providing exceptional heating and air conditioning service and installation to every customer. Our NATE certification (North American Technician Excellence) is the gold standard in the HVAC industry. Our HVAC team of highly trained, experienced professionals is held to the highest standards for customer service.

CHA strives to establish customer relationships that will last a lifetime! We put customers first.

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