A packaged terminal air conditioner, which is abbreviated at PTAC, is a self-contained heating and air conditioning unit. You will most commonly find these in hotel room for the guests to set their individual room temperatures. They are mostly vented outside and use electricity to heat and cool the room.
With a packaged terminal air conditioner you have only a few settings that you can use and they are perfect for a small apartment building. While they are not usually used in homes, they can be used in localized zones.
How Does A PTAC Work?
The packaged terminal air conditioning unit works by using electricity to push the refrigerant through the air conditioning unit and removes the heat and humidity out through the vent. They are usually set near a concrete wall, or inside a window. However, if installed with a metal shield, they can be built into the wall.
Using A PTAC
Because the PTAC is used for both heating and air conditioning, there are a few different settings to be aware of. For the most part, the packaged terminal has two knobs. One is for the speed of the fan, and the other is for the temperature. The temperature knob will have a wide range to choose from to set it for heat or cold. While there normally isn't a temperature number, it is a range that is color coded.
By setting the packaged terminal air conditioner to the range of temperature you want, it will either heat or cool your room. Keep in mind, that a PTAC is one-room appliance, and will not work for an entire house or other structure.
With the packaged terminal air conditioner you do not need to worry about having to turn it on and off. Once you set the temperature range you want your room to be at, it will automatically turn itself on and off. This is a very efficient way to cool the room down. The room doesn't get too cool, nor does it get too warm. It will stay within the temperature range that you set it.
Much like a split air conditioning unit, there is a piece that sets outside the home. This unit contains the vent and the cooling coils. It is important to make sure that these coils are clean. Another big item to keep clean is the air filter. If these two pieces are dirty, or allowed to remain heavy with dirt and debris, it will cause the unit to not work properly.
Use Remote Sensors
Some of the packaged terminal air conditioners can operate with remote sensors in the room. These sensor will tell the unit if there is anyone in the room, or if the room is unoccupied. If there is someone in the room, the the normal preset temperature settings will be adhered to. If there isn't anyone in the room, then the PTAC will adjust to another setting which will keep it from running too much. Remote sensors add another dimension to the savings in energy.