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What Exactly Makes a Packaged AC Different from Other Air Conditioners?

Along with residential heating and air conditioning services, our technicians work extensively with commercial HVAC. Among commercial cooling systems, packaged air conditioning units are by far the most common. Homes are usually outfitted with what are called split systems, or in some cases mini split systems that don’t use ductwork. If you’re curious what makes a packaged air conditioning unit different from the split systems found in in homes, we’ve provided a short explanation below.

The Packaged Air Conditioner Unit: It’s All Outside!

An air conditioning system, no matter the type, works through a process of circulating chemical refrigerant so that it evaporates in one set of coils, absorbing heat, and evaporates in a second set of coils, releasing heat. In a split system—the ones found in homes—the two coils are placed in separate units that connect to each other through a refrigerant line. The evaporator coil is indoors, where it removes heat from the air, and a blower fan sends the cooled air indoors. The condenser coil is located in an outdoor cabinet, where the heat is released and a fan exhausts it. The outdoor cabinet also houses the compressor, which is responsible for circulating the refrigerant by putting it under pressure.

With a packaged unit, all the components are found in a single cabinet outside the building. The cabinet connects directly into the ventilation system in the building through a duct; fans in the cabinet draw air through the return ducts from the building, where the evaporator coil cools the air off before a blower fans sends it back into the building through a separate supply duct. The condenser coil releases the heat outside. The compressor is also located in this same cabinet.

This set-up is ideal for commercial buildings for a number of reasons. The most important is that it’s easy to expand the unit to make it more powerful to meet the changing and growing needs of a company. It also saves space in the building, removes the noisy operation to the rooftop or elsewhere, and can be easily accessed by technicians for service.

If you want packaged air conditioning units installed for your business, or you need service for one, call on Comfort Flow Heating in Eugene, OR.

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