Package Unit vs Split System

There are two main kinds of central heating and air conditioning installations in the US: package units and split systems. These installations share plenty, of course. They can both provide effective and efficient heating and cooling. However, there are significant differences. So, when it comes down to a comparison of a package unit vs split system, which comes out ahead?

Package Unit vs Split System: Who Wins?

Fortunately, there is no clear winner when it comes a package unit vs split system. That's because each installation style is designed to meet certain specific building needs and requirements. A package unit is the best choice for some homeowners, and a split system is the optimum choice for others. So the real package unit vs split system question you should ask is which system will perform better for your home?

Package Unit vs Split System: Factors To Consider

1. The first thing you should look at is space. When you have plenty of space in an attic or utility closet to accommodate a furnace or air handler, a split system can do the job. However, many homes may not have that flexibility. In that case, you can put everything you need in a single package unit mounted outside on a concrete slab.

2. The second thing is flexibility. A package unit can come with everything you need. That's nice for a lot of people. However, if one part of it goes catastrophically wrong, you might have no HVAC at all until it is repaired. If you have a split system, one component can fail, but that might only entail the repair or replacement of one particular part of the system. For example, if your outside condenser fails, you will still be able to get heat out of the furnace.

3. The third key to consider is about weather and corrosion. A package unit cabinet is often built sturdy, but it's still subject to wind and rain and heat. In a split system, only one portion of the system will be exposed to bad weather. This means your interior split system components will run safely for longer.

Comments & Questions About A Package Unit vs Split System?

Do you have comments or questions about the ultimate winner in a package unit vs split system match-up? Or maybe you want to tell us which works best in your home. If so, let us know here, on Facebook, or on Twitter.

1 comment (view/add)
  • Ralph
    Ralph
    Posted on 6/3/2019

    I think the main consideration is the installer. A package unit is build in a factory, under control environment, with specific quality tests. A split system is put together by a local tech who may or may not know what he doing.

    I disagree about space. Even if you can shoe-horn in the air handler in the attic or the basement, when it fails, servicing it will be a nightmare. Leading a lot of techs to shortcut the repair, just to get out of the space. A package unit (because it is larger) will always be accessible OUTSIDE. Only some commercial units will be on a roof, with most residential at ground level. Much easier to work on, therefore, less of a reason to shortcut.


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