Two Types of Packaged Air Conditioners [and Their Advantages and Disadvantages]

21st Sep 2021

Whether you’re buying a new home, updating your current home with some renovations, or simply need a new HVAC system, the purchase decision is a big one. An HVAC system will cost a fair amount of money, so it’s best to do your research upfront so that the purchase doesn’t leave you with regrets. Most importantly, it’s critical to make the right choice so that the system you settle on can keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

With that in mind, we’re going to front some background information regarding two popular but very different types of packaged air conditioners: electric air conditioner package units and gas-electric package units, also known as gas packs.

Gas-Electric Packaged Units (AKA Gaspacks)

First up, we have gas-electric packaged units, which are frequently referred to as gaspacks or gas packs. Gas packs typically come with a gas furnace, an electric air conditioning unit, and an evaporator coil, though they may also come with an air handler to manage all of the air, and possibly to add some supplementary cooling power.

Gas electric package units are both powerful and energy-efficient since they combine the strengths of both gas heat and electric air conditioning, so you can keep cool even under hot conditions without being cold in the winter.

Where They Shine…

Generally speaking, you might want to choose a gas pack if you live in a cooler area. Since gas package units have a gas furnace, they’re good for colder climates, especially if the package unit comes with a furnace that offers 2-stage functionality for extra power and efficiency. Any climate where it gets too cold for an electric heat strip or a heat pump is a good candidate for a gas pack - as long as it also gets too hot in the summer.

Then Again…

If you live in a place where it just doesn’t get that cold in the winter, you probably don’t need the power of a gas furnace. This is potentially a matter of personal comfort, but it’s just wasted equipment if it sits in your home and you never even need to turn it on.

Also, if you live somewhere where it never really gets hot enough to merit air conditioning, then you don’t need the power of the electric air conditioning. However, very few places (if any) in our country meet this requirement. Even in Alaska, it gets pretty hot in the summer.

Electric Air Conditioner Packaged Units (with Electric Heat Strips)

Electric air conditioner package units are like gas packs but without a gas furnace. Basically, they contain an air conditioner unit, a condenser and an evaporator, and possibly also an air handler, depending on the size of the building.

This Packaged Air Conditioner Might Be Good for You If…

Packaged air conditioners are typically reserved for areas that are very hot in the summer and throughout the rest of the year as well. They are really only designed for climates that are so hot that only cool air is a priority. If the risk of low temperatures is equally low, then electric air conditioner package units may be a good solution for cooling your home - such as in the extreme southern areas of the country.

By the way, this type of packaged air conditioning system can be paired with devices that are known as electric heat strips which can heat your home. They are, however, limited in this capacity to provided heating and cooling (heat strips are neither powerful nor efficient), so again, these types of packaged HVAC systems are usually reserved only for the hottest climates.

When They’re Not So Hot…(Pun Intended)

Electric package units are not the best for all situations - far from it. Because their ability to heat a setting is severely limited, they are not suitable for areas with cool or cold winters at all. By contrast, gas packs or other split systems are much more suitable.

Are There Other Types of Package Units?

Yes, you are not limited as a homeowner or business owner to a choice between a gas pack and an electric package unit. You can also investigate packaged heat pumps and hybrid units as well, which you can also investigate on our website.

Call Us for More Information

If you’d like to learn more about the different types of packaged air conditioner systems that we sell here on our website and how they can improve air quality, keep you comfortable, and improve the value of your home, please get in touch with us directly at 855-473-6484 - we’d be more than happy to help.

Otherwise, take a look through our collections - we offer low prices, a price match guarantee, and free shipping on our HVAC systems!