Most air conditioning units, especially those used in homes, are comprised of two separate units. One unit is installed inside the house, where it is hooked up to the ductwork and power source. The other unit is installed outside the house, and is connected to the inside unit by a conduit that includes a refrigerant and power line. Air conditioners are constructed this way to both save space inside the house and facilitate the air conditioner’s operation. However, commercial buildings have another option available: packaged air conditioners. Let’s take a look at what packaged air conditioners are, and why you may want to install one for your business.
Anatomy of a Packaged Air Conditioner
Unlike a normal air conditioner, a packaged air conditioner does not have two separate units. Instead, everything is combined into one large system. In order to understand the reason for this, let’s first take a look at why air conditioners are often split into two units.
An air conditioner doesn’t actually blow cold air into your home. What it actually does is remove heat from the air in your home, and then circulate the now-cold air back into the house. The difference is in the way the air conditioner operates. When an air conditioner turns on, the inside unit begins to siphon heat from the air in the ducts by evaporating refrigerant. The refrigerant gas sucks all of the heat out of the air, then travels down the refrigerant line to the outside unit. There, the outside unit condenses the gas back into a liquid, releasing the heat outside of the house.
Advantages of a Packaged Air Conditioner
While such a system could work just as well for a business as it could for a home, there are a few issues to consider. For one thing, space is often at a premium with business buildings, especially when commercial HVAC systems are so much larger than those used in homes. For another, maintenance would take a lot more time if the technician has to take an elevator back and forth to check both units. Outdoor commercial HVAC units are often installed on the roof, while the inside unit might be in a room on the bottom floor. Packaged AC units keep everything in one place, making maintenance much faster and easier as well as saving space.
Another advantage is that packaged air conditioners are modular systems, able to integrate with other packaged systems in case more output is needed. That isn’t really an option with traditional air conditioning systems.