In a packaged system, all equipment is built into a single unit or "package". These are outdoor units usually installed on the roof or a concrete slab in the yard that connect to ductwork in the home. The primary advantage of a packaged system is that they are ideal for homes with space constraints that do not allow for a traditional split heating and cooling system.
Packaged systems can come as the following types:
- All electric cooling only (air conditioner only)
- Gas heating only (electricity still required for fan motor, etc.)
- Electric cooling (air conditioner) and gas heating (furnace)
- Heat pump model (electric heating and cooling)
- Hybrid package which includes gas furnace and heat pump (electric cooling / gas and electric heating)
The efficiency of packaged systems are rated as with individual units: SEER (for cooling efficiency), AFUE percentage (for gas heating efficiency) and HSPF (for heat pump heating efficiency). As mentioned above, ductwork is required as usual to transfer the heated / cooled air throughout the home.
HVAC Tip: primarily the only reason to purchase a packaged system is due to space constraints. They typically do not offer near the efficiency levels you can achieve with a normal split system.