What is a Package Heat Pump?

package heat pump
Have you considered using a package heat pump to heat and cool your home? Not only do these great HVAC system provide both heating and cooling, but they're very simple to install and maintain. In fact, a package unit might be exactly what you need to get the home air comfort you want. But before you know that, you must be able to answer a simple question:

What is a Package Heat Pump Anyway?

A package heat pump is a heating and air conditioning system in which all the essential components are housed inside a single cabinet or "package". These cabinets are often rectangular in shape. Usually larger than an outside split system condenser, a package unit is always installed outside. In a residential application, most package heat pumps are installed on the ground. However, many businesses that use these systems install them on a roof.

Package Heat Pump Benefits

Broadly speaking, the biggest reason to use a package heat pump is because everything important is contained inside that single, metal cabinet. You don't have to worry about messing with refrigerant, and electrical hook-up is at a single location. It doesn't matter how much available square footage you have inside your home, because everything is outside. If you have functional ductwork, you can likely accommodate a package heat pump.

Are All Package Heat Pumps the Same?

Not quite. While a package heat pump will give you reliable heating and cooling, there are other options. For just cooling, you could get a package air conditioner. To ensure you have cold weather-proof heating, get a dual-fuel system that features both a heat pump and a gas furnace. Or get a packaged gas/electric unit for a combination conventional air conditioner and gas furnace. Whatever your need, there is likely a package unit that can do it.

Other Questions?

If you have other questions or comments about package heat pumps, let us know in the comments, on Facebook, or on Twitter. We look forward to hearing from you!  
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Clover Rayner
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A package heat pump is a heating and air conditioning system in which all the essential components are housed inside a single cabinet or "package". These cabinets are often rectangular in shape. Usually larger than an outside split system condenser, a package unit is always installed outside.
Agathe
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I am in the process to have an heat pump installed, what should I know on the quality of the unit….or. Are they all the same. Contractor is talking about a CP Grandaire 3 ton.
Rebekah Muller
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Not every heat pump is going to be the same! Some of them will have a higher SEER (a way to measure a unit's efficiency) than others, and some will be built with newer, more innovative features. It would be worth it to check out our heat pump page to compare and contrast: https://iwae.com/shop/heating-air-conditioning/full-systems/central-split-systems/heat-pumps/.
Debby
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Does a package heat pump mean that you dont need an air handler inside? If i have an air handler now and get a package heat pump, what would i do with my existing air handler?
Rebekah Muller
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A package heat pump is sort of like an air handler and a condenser all in one package that gets placed outside. You would not have a need for your air handler if you have a package unit, so you could get rid of it. You'd need an HVAC contractor to complete or reroute ducting, though.
Mike
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My son and I disagree on something you can probably settle, I say that on a packaged heat pump the fan should run in cooling mode just like a traditional heat pump. He says the fan should not be running in cooling mode for a packaged heat pump. Who wins?
Rebekah Muller
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If it is on non-stop, then something may be wrong with the system. It will run when the system is on. If it is running all the time, it may mean that your system is not able to reach the set temperature, that your air filters are dirty, that your AC is undersized, or that the system is not appropriately communicating with the thermostat.
Wayne Borah
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Can you use a heat pump in cold winters of Dakota's.
Rebekah Muller
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It may be possible with a system like the Universal, which can produce heat at a 78% heating capacity in temperatures as low as -22º Fahrenheit. Beyond that point, auxiliary heating is required.
Larry
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Why are package units ALWAYS placed outside. If you had a large enough utility room, why couldn't the unit be placed inside?
Rebekah Quarles
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If the heat pump is in cooling mode, then it will absorb the heat from the space you're cooling and expel it from the package unit. If the package unit is in an enclosed space, it will essentially heat the room, and the lack of overall airflow that placement outside typically provides the system would eventually cause complications. The system will also need to absorb heat to heat your home, essentially cooling down the room that you put the package unit in. The system needs airflow to function well, and it is designed to be installed outside. It should not be installed inside.
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