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Choosing Between Packaged Units and Split Systems

Choosing Between Packaged Units and Split Systems

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When it comes to choosing the right cooling and heating system for your home or business, there are two main options to consider: packaged units and split systems. Each type of system has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to carefully weigh your options before making a decision. In this blog post, we’ll explore the differences between packaged units and split systems, and provide some guidance to help you make an informed choice.

What Are Packaged Units?

As the name suggests, packaged units are self-contained systems that contain all the necessary components for heating and cooling in one unit. These units are typically installed outside the building, either on the ground or on the roof. Packaged units are available in both electric and gas models, and can be used for both residential and commercial applications.

Advantages of Packaged Units

  • Space-saving: Packaged units are a great option for those with limited indoor space, as they do not require any indoor components. This can free up valuable space in your home or business.
  • Energy-efficient: Many packaged units are designed with energy efficiency in mind. They often come with features such as variable-speed compressors and advanced control systems, which can help reduce energy consumption and lower your utility bills.
  • Easier installation: Since packaged units are self-contained, the installation process is typically simpler and faster compared to split systems. This can save you time and money during the installation process.
  • Lower maintenance: With all the components housed in one unit, maintaining a packaged unit is often easier and less costly compared to split systems. This is because there are fewer parts to maintain or repair.

Disadvantages of Packaged Units

  • Noisy: Packaged units are typically louder than split systems, as the condenser and compressor are located in the same unit. This can be an important consideration if noise levels are a concern for you or your neighbors.
  • Less flexibility: As packaged units are self-contained, they may not be as flexible as split systems when it comes to zoning or controlling temperatures in different areas of your home or business.
  • Requires outdoor space: Since packaged units are installed outside the building, you will need adequate outdoor space to accommodate the unit. This may be a limitation for those with limited outdoor space.

What Are Split Systems?

Unlike packaged units, split systems consist of two main components: an outdoor unit (the condenser) and an indoor unit (the evaporator coil and furnace or air handler). The two units are connected by refrigerant lines, and the air is distributed through ducts in the walls, floor, or ceiling of the building. Split systems are available in various configurations, including air conditioners, heat pumps, and furnaces.

Advantages of Split Systems

  • Quiet operation: The compressor and condenser, which are the noisiest components of the system, are located outside the building. This means that split systems are generally quieter compared to packaged units.
  • Greater flexibility: Split systems offer more flexibility when it comes to zoning and controlling temperatures in different areas of your home or business. This can help increase comfort and energy efficiency.
  • Improved indoor air quality: Split systems are often equipped with advanced air filters and purifiers, which can help improve the indoor air quality by removing contaminants such as dust, allergens, and mold spores.

Disadvantages of Split Systems

  • More complex installation: Split systems require the installation of both indoor and outdoor units, as well as the necessary ductwork. This can make the installation process more complex and time-consuming.
  • Higher maintenance costs: Since split systems have more components, they may require more frequent maintenance and repairs compared to packaged units. This can result in higher maintenance costs over time.
  • Higher upfront costs: Due to the additional components and installation requirements, split systems are generally more expensive upfront compared to packaged units.


Choosing between packaged units and split systems ultimately depends on your specific needs and preferences. Packaged units are a great option for those with limited space and who value simplicity and lower maintenance. On the other hand, split systems offer greater flexibility and quieter operation, making them a popular choice for those

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