Packaged terminal air conditioner or packaged terminal heat pump?

On the surface, it can be impossible to see the difference between a packaged terminal air conditioner and a packaged terminal heat pump, but it’s easy to see a difference in the energy bills.

Both packaged terminal air conditioners and packaged terminal heat pumps are popular in large multifamily properties such as assisted living facilities, dormitories and hotel-style apartments. These units increase individual comfort by giving the tenant personal control over the temperature in his or her living space.

The difference between a packaged terminal air conditioner and a packaged terminal heat pump lies within the heating element of the unit. Packaged terminal air conditioners use electric resistance heat, which is limited in efficiency with a coefficient of performance, COP, of 1.0 or less. Packaged terminal heat pumps use a reversible refrigeration cycle that can provide both heating and cooling with a COP of up to 3.0. This means packaged terminal heat pumps can be up to 3 times more efficient than packaged terminal air conditioners during heating hours.

In today’s market, some units are labeled as “packaged terminal air conditioner with heat pump” rather than “packaged terminal heat pump, ” which falsely leads customers to assume that heat pumps only provide heating, not cooling.

Currently, many multifamily properties outfitted with packaged terminal air conditioners are looking to upgrade to more efficient units. We offer a $200 incentive per living unit when replacing an existing packaged terminal air conditioner or electric resistance heat with a packaged terminal heat pump. Eligible units provide both heat pump heating and cooling, and are listed on the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute package terminal heat pump list.

For more information, contact Nate Collins, trade ally coordinator, at 503.278.3075.