Can I Get My Heating and Cooling Units in One System?

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The transition from warm weather when the air conditioning is used to the cold days and nights when you need to use the heater is an annual occurrence. Routine checkups and maintenance to make sure the heater (or cooling system) is ready to go is an important task at the start of a season, when the weather first starts getting colder or warmer, respectively. Hopefully, you’re already having the HVAC inspected and tuned, and if not, you should be. Developing a relationship with a reputable and trained/certified company means you know you’re taken care of.

There are two main kinds of HVAC systems on the market: a traditional separate component system or a single system. You, too, might be wondering if you can get your heating and cooling units in one system. It makes complete sense to look into an upgrade, where your individual heating and cooling units come in a combination, as there are benefits to having a single system. These benefits include saving space and being energy efficient, and additionally, that the system can be more flexible.

What Are the Main Differences between a Traditional System and an HVAC Combination Unit?

A packaged HVAC system is exactly as the name implies: a singular heating and cooling unit. It is set up outdoors.

This combination system is quite different from the traditional setup, with multiple separate components. These parts include a heat pump or furnace and a central air conditioner. The air conditioner alone has multiple parts, such as an indoor evaporator coil unit, an outside-based compressor, and a condenser, plus the ducts that transfer the cool air inside and distribute it through the home.

A combination or packaged heating and cooling unit comes as a single HVAC system.

Made for Two: How the Combo System Works With Both Consumer and Building

A combination system works in the same way as traditional heating and cooling units, but it is available in two sizes, depending on the availability of space, installation requirements, and the design of the building with its capacity for heating and cooling. Also, the system is designed to give people a choice with regard to functionality and a modern, more compact arrangement.

Larger systems are designed for buildings with multiple tenants, commercial floor plans, and industrial environments. They fulfill the need to provide heating and cooling to many rooms and spaces. The unit can be set up on concrete near the building or, if space and opportunity allow, atop the building on the roof.

Smaller systems are perfect for single-family homes that don’t have basements, crawl spaces, or any predetermined space for a traditional outdoor unit. The only prerequisite is having a little extra space—in a small room or closet, perhaps—where the combination system can be set up.

Instead of needing to be connected to numerous places in a building, a packaged system’s air input and output ducts are connected (through a wall or roof) to locations on the bottom or the top of the building.

Various Configurations of HVAC Package Units

While each is all-in-one in terms of the type of HVAC unit, there are still differences with the systems.

A few examples:

  • An air conditioner combination contains all the parts of a traditional AC system: air handler, coils, and compressor. In addition to the split-system AC unit, there are some heating capabilities from the electric heating coils. This variation of the packaged system is best for warmer areas where heat is only occasionally required.
  • A gas-electric combination unit has an air conditioner, a coil, and a natural gas or propane furnace. The air conditioning is electrically powered, and the heating is gas-powered, and they use the same duct infrastructure within the residence or building.
  • A heat pump combination houses the air-conditioning sections in addition to the heat pump and a handler so both heat and cooling can operate in the building or house. This combination is generally sought after in places where the temperatures do not regularly fall below freezing.

Why Buy a Combination HVAC unit?

The main reasons for the upgrade to the packaged HVAC unit are the multiple benefits they offer:

  1. There are lower energy costs because the system itself doesn’t have to work as hard. It’s not sending energy or commands far away because it’s operating within a smaller system, which potentially cuts energy costs.
  2. Installing the system is as easy as it is fast. Again, this is central to the unification of placement. There aren’t numerous parts to install and cross-reference. The system can have a lower cost of installation.
  3. The area needed to set up the traditional installation (a multi-faceted system) just takes up more physical space. The combination saves on space leaving more for recreation and business space.
  4. There’s flexibility. You can fashion the solution to your heating and cooling needs and have a say in the amount of space used for the HVAC system to run.
  5. Keeping the HVAC tuned and well-maintained is an important part of keeping it functional, keeping the costs down, and providing a service to one’s home or business. The combination unit is more easily cared for since all components are in one place—and that means a shorter repair time and lower overall cost for service.

Entek is your local Portland HVAC systems retailer, installation, and repair professional. We know heating and cooling units inside and out. Literally. Let us be your go-to HVAC system source. For any of your residential, commercial, or industrial air-conditioning and heating needs, we are here for you. Give us a call today to see how we can help you upgrade to an energy-efficient, compact, and all-in-one package system. We look forward to assisting you and are just a phone call away.

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