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.
A packaged Terminal Air Conditioner (PTAC) is a ductless, through-the-wall heating and cooling system that is normally used in commercial spaces, but they can also be used in typical residential environments.
PTAC is the type of air conditioning unit that you would often find installed in hotel rooms. Many condominiums and apartment buildings that do not have a centralized heating and air conditioning units are also often installed with PTAC units. Institutional facilities, hospitality business spaces, and other large residential properties also normally make use of this type of system.
PTAC is a self-contained unit or a unitary heating and cooling system, which means its main components, such as the compressor, condenser, evaporator, and expansion valve, among others part, is housed and integrated together in a single casing.
As a reversible system, a PTAC unit can be used as an ideal cooling solution during Summer, a heating solution during Winter, and as a reliable climate control system which is designed for year-round comfort. When used for cooling, the refrigerant inside works to cool the coil which facilitates the exhaustion and removal of heat and humidity which are released via the vent of the unit. When used for heating, it works in reverse with the refrigerant heating the coil. When the air passes over this heated coil, the resulting warm air is released back into the room. For heating, PTACs either use a heat pump or an electric heat.
A ductless mini split system is a split-type heating and cooling system that consists of two main components—the outdoor compressor/condenser unit and an indoor air handler unit. These two units are connected and linked to work together as one system by a set of pipes called a line set that consists of two copper pipes called a suction line and a liquid line. These pipes are also called refrigerant lines because they carry the refrigerant that is an important component that helps in the main heating and cooling function of the system. A condensate drain line and an electrical that connect the whole system to the power supply wire also link the outdoor and indoor units together.
As its name suggests, a ductless mini split system does not require ductwork or those set of tubing that is installed and routed throughout different rooms if you are using a centralized air conditioning system. This ductwork serves as pathways for conditioned air before they are distributed into the room through the air vents that are installed in each room.
Just like PTAC, a ductless mini split system is also a reversible AC system. This means that it can cool or heat your room, which means it can effectively work as an air conditioning unit during summer and as a heat pump during winter. Basically, it can work either way depending on your desired mode of operation.
A ductless mini split system works through the process of heat transfer. This process of transferring heat is crucial in making the system work as an air conditioning unit and as a heat pump. The refrigerant, which is a liquid substance, that flows inside the refrigerant lines and throughout the system makes this possible. During the process, this refrigerant moves and follows a cyclic process, and always changing its state. It would either condense inside the compressor or evaporate inside the evaporator. Specifically, it absorbs heat inside the evaporator while in the gas state and circulates it back in the condenser unit; when in the liquid state, it releases the heat inside the condenser unit and then brings it back to the evaporator. This cycle simply repeats. In simple terms, it absorbs and releases heat.
As an air conditioner, the mini split system absorbs the warm air inside the room where the unit is installed, processes it into a cool air, and then circulates it back inside the room as a conditioned air through the air handling unit. As a heat pump, the system takes warm air from outside through the outdoor unit. This air is brought inside and eventually distributed throughout the room through the air handling unit and with the aid of the system’s fan system.
As both are designed for single-room cooling and heating, it would be best to take a look at PTAC and ductless mini split and find out how each one compares to the other in terms of the following aspects:
It must be noted that, indeed, there are advanced PTAC systems with better capabilities and better level of flexibility that might work for homeowners and even technical people like architects, engineers, contractors, building managers. In other words, while most PTACs have certain serious issues, they are not at all bad. Compared with traditional systems, PTAC is not a bad choice, especially if you need it for a single-room application. That’s a fact. ETAC, from Gree, for instance, provides an enhanced version of PTAC. If you think PTAC remains your best option, then might as well choose an enhanced version of the system like Gree ETAC. Nonetheless, it does not take away the fact that ductless mini split trumps PTAC in many aspects that really matter, whether, in terms of efficiency, performance, flexibility, cost-savings, eco-friendliness, control system, and others, the latter will always be the best option. So, if you want an upgrade to a really better system that can provide you with a higher level of comfort and energy-savings, ductless mini splits are hands-down the best choice.
For your best options, ComfortUp offers some of the best selections. Find the ductless system that fits your needs and application by visiting www.comfortup.com.