If you are shopping for an HVAC solution for your apartment building, hotel or hospital, you may find that your needs are different from other commercial enterprises. You want a heating and cooling solution that will keep your visitors comfortable without breaking your wallet. Two common HVAC products you may encounter are PTAC and VTAC units.
What is a PTAC?
A PTAC (Packaged Terminal Air Conditioner) is a standalone AC/heater that is installed through a wall. PTAC units are self-contained, meaning they do not rely on ducts to operate. This makes them a great option for those who want to heat or cool a single room versus an entire home or building.
What is a VTAC?
A VTAC (Vertical Terminal Air Conditioner) is a vertical heating and cooling unit that is usually installed in a space hidden from view, such as a closet. A VTAC can control the temperature of a single room or multiple rooms in a building.
PTAC vs VTAC: What’s the Difference?
While both VTAC and PTAC units are commonly used in similar settings — hotels, motels, assisted living facilities, etc. — there are quite a few differences between the two.
Firstly, PTAC units are installed into a wall via a wall sleeve so that they can be easily accessed and operated from the room. VTAC units, on the other hand, are installed in a closet or a similar space so that they are hidden from view. This makes VTACs an appealing option for those who don’t want their heater/air conditioner in plain sight.
Because PTAC units are installed in a room, users can control the temperature directly on the unit or with a wall thermostat. Since VTAC units are hidden out of view, they can only be controlled via a thermostat.
Benefits of PTAC Units
- Easy to install – PTAC units are easily installed directly into a wall with a wall sleeve – no ductwork necessary.
- Inexpensive – PTAC units are fairly cheap to purchase compared to other commercial heating and cooling solutions. This means they can be easily replaced if necessary.
Benefits of VTAC Units
- Versatile – VTAC units can control the temperature of one or multiple rooms.
- Quiet – Because they’re hidden out of view, VTAC units are ideal for those who want a quiet HVAC solution.
- Powerful – VTAC units are available in sizes of up to 2 tons for more power.
Disadvantages of PTAC Units
- Loud – Unfortunately, PTAC units aren’t the quietest heating and cooling options. Pay attention to factors such as Sound Transmission Class (STC) and decibel ratings to compare loudness across models.
- One-dimensional – PTAC units can only control a single room, which doesn’t make them practical for an entire building.
Disadvantages of VTAC Units
- Expensive – VTAC units carry a higher price tag than many other HVAC solutions.
Best PTAC & VTAC Units
If you’re in the market for a new PTAC or VTAC, we’ve got you covered.
Top PTAC Units
- LG LP153HDUC 14900/15100 BTU 11.2 EER PTAC Air Conditioner with Heat Pump – 208/230 Volt – This PTAC unit is the quietest and most energy efficient model in its BTU range. Its powerful efficiency makes it ideal for larger rooms.
- Amana PTH123G35AXXX 12000 BTU Class PTAC Air Conditioner with Heat Pump – 20 Amp – This Amana PTAC unit delivers American made quality in an easy-to-install package.
- LG LP093HDUC1 9300/9500 BTU 12.9 EER PTAC Air Conditioner with Heat Pump – 208/230 Volt – This offering from LG is quiet, energy efficient and ideal for smaller rooms.
Top VTAC Units
- General Electric AZ91H18D5C 18000 BTU Large Chassis Zoneline VTAC with Heat Pump, 5.0 kW Electric Heat, 30 Amp, 208/230 Volt – Unlike most VTAC units that have to be special ordered, GE VTAC units are typically in stock. This model features three fan speeds and can cool a space measuring 800 square feet.
- General Electric AZ91H18D3C 18000 BTU Large Chassis Zoneline VTAC with Heat Pump, 3.4 kW Electric Heat, 20 Amp, 208/230 Volt – This GE model boasts flexible installation options to make your life much easier.
- Friedrich VHA24K Vert-I-Pak 24000 BTU Class Single Vertical Packaged Air System with Heat Pump (VTAC) – This VTAC provides a 24,000 BTU capacity that’s powerful enough for multi-room or hotel suite use.
Both VTAC and PTAC units come with their own advantages. VTAC units are ideal if you value aesthetic over cost. For example, if you’re a hotel owner, a VTAC unit will make for a more pleasant experience for your patrons. However, if you’re on a budget and want something that is easy to install, a PTAC unit may suit your needs just fine.