PTAC vs Ductless Mini Split, Which One is for me?
It is not difficult at all to purchase an air conditioner, let alone finding one to your liking. Many options are available and you would not lack of options. But choosing the right cooling and heating system for a specific space in your home, office, or commercial facility is not always easy as you would expect. If what you seek is a perfect match for your comfort needs, budget, and personal requirements, having a little idea about what the systems really are will go a long way in making a smart purchase.
In this article, we’ll be looking at two unique systems that can both heat and cool a room using just one unit—the commonly used Packaged Terminal Air Conditioners or PTACs and the innovative ductless mini split system.
What is Packaged Terminal Air Conditioner (PTAC)?
What is Ductless Mini Split System?
PTAC Versus Ductless Mini Split: Which One Should You Use?
Installation: When it comes to air conditioning systems, ease of installation provides added value for obvious reasons. It would save you a lot of trouble, time, effort, and money. Both the PTAC and ductless mini split systems are easy to install AC solutions. With PTAC, you will have to install the unit through the wall. This means that you have to create a hole in the wall with an appropriate size for the unit. The unit has to be positioned just a few inches above the floor to give it a space allowance. Installing PTAC requires you to also use a wall sleeve, exterior grille, and a drain kit on the unit aside from the wiring connections. The wall sleeve is important to support the main unit or chassis. The purpose of the exterior grille is to protect the coils and provide a space for the airways at the back of the unit. The grilles may vary by design but they are used the same way. If you are replacing an old PTAC model, you can simply reuse the existing sleeve and grille. The other accessories needed are the thermostat and the remote controllers.
With a ductless mini split unit, you will have to place the compressor unit outside and mount the air handler inside the room. The wiring and piping systems that connect both units will be passed through a small hole in the wall. Installing both systems may require you to seek the help of an HVAC contractor just to make sure that the installation will be done properly. Keep in mind that the more the installation is complicated and labor-intensive, the more it can cost you money. Installation-wise, the ductless mini split system is definitely easier to do or less complicated. Unlike PTAC, it would not require you any other supporting materials like the exterior grille or wall sleeve. The size of the hole that is required is also smaller for the mini split system than for PTACs. The truth is, you can’t have a more flexible cooling and heating solution than a ductless mini split system. The unit can actually be installed almost anywhere regardless of the application or the type of environment.
- Energy-efficiency: Aside from performance, energy-efficiency should be non-negotiable when you’re looking for right cooling and heating system for your specific space. Between PTAC and ductless mini split, the latter is way better. Due to the integration of more advanced technology and components, there’s no question that ductless mini split systems are just on the top on right now in terms of energy-efficiency. Even when compared with many new-generation traditional AC and heat pump systems, most ductless mini splits will still have the edge.
- Cooling and Heating Performance: Outside energy-efficiency, the cooling and heating performance of a system should be the main consideration when you’re choosing your next AC unit. After all, comfort is what you’re after; and how the system performs determines its effectivity as a cooling and heating solution. While PTAC systems work decently enough in terms of cooling and heating a room, ductless mini splits are designed with better range and capabilities that make their cooling and heating function a notch higher than any other systems, including PTACs. Typically built with better compressor technology and advanced functionalities, ductless mini splits are completely capable of providing you with the exact and really precise cooling and heating comfort regardless of the outside temperature.
- Versatility: While both PTAC and ductless mini split can be used for commercial and residential applications, PTAC would never become a popular choice when it comes to specific residential space. Mainly a commercial-grade system, PTACs are utilized mostly in commercial spaces and hospitality businesses like hotels. The ductless mini split system is just too versatile and it can be installed in almost all types of environments, regardless of size, condition, and limitations.
- Multi-room Application: If there’s one thing that truly separates PTAC from the ductless mini split, it would be the latter’s capability to be used for single-room and multi-room applications. Ductless mini splits are not just a single-room solution; it is specifically designed for temperature zoning, which means it can be used as a whole-home cooling system by simply installing different air handlers in different rooms inside the house. Usually, one ductless system can have multiple air handlers installed in different spaces and connected to just one compressor.
- Control: Both PTAC and ductless mini splits can be connected to a wall thermostat, which can be wired or wireless. Many ductless mini split systems, however, have automation capabilities. Most advanced mini split models can now be connected, accessed, and controlled directly and remotely via any smart wireless device, such as a smart phone and tablet. Another excellent aspect of ductless mini split’s control capability refers to its function as a temperature zoning solution. Since each air handler can be controlled independently, you can have an option to set a different temperature for different rooms by simply controlling the specific air handler or indoor unit that is installed in each of these rooms. With this capability, a mini split system becomes an ideal solution for controlling temperatures for different rooms, which ultimately eliminates the usual issues on hot spots and cold spots that you normally experience with a ducted system.
- Design and Space-saving Capability: A PTAC is a 42-inch wide ductless air conditioner, which means it is bulky. When installed, PTACs normally protrude, and this does not always sit well with people that are particular with spaces and design. Ductless mini splits, on the other hand, are designed compact and unobtrusive, making them perfect for rooms where you want the unit to just simply blend all together with the overall interior design. Click here to view the sleek Gree Sapphire System.