Carrier PTAC units are mounted on a window or outside wall and measure 42 x 16 x 13.75 inches in the United States. Cooling capacities range from around 7,000 BTUH to 24,000 BTUH.
Carrier PTAC Units: History and Information
Origins of the Carrier PTAC units: In 1902 Willis Haviland Carrier invented the first modern air conditioner, designed for improving manufacturing control in a printing plant. The fact that the air conditioner resulted in both lower heat and lower humidity helped maintain consistency in paper dimensions and ink alignment. It didn’t take long for other industries to realize the benefits of air conditioning, and demand rose sharply. The company eventually expanded to make residential air conditioners as well as Carrier PTAC units.
PTAC units are the type of stand-alone, through-the-wall air conditioning and heating units commonly used in hotels, dormitories, apartments, and institutional living quarters. They are a top choice for this type application for many reasons. For one thing, they are relatively quiet, and temperature can be adjusted to suit each room. There’s no duct system required, and separate equipment rooms, water towers, and other cooling equipment aren’t required either. They work best in moderate climates; extreme heat and cold will overwork PTAC units, compromising their efficiency.
Like pretty much all PTAC heat pumps, Carrier PTAC units are mounted on a window or outside wall and measure 42 x 16 x 13.75 inches in the United States. Cooling capacities range from around 7,000 BTUH to 24,000 BTUH.
These units have an evaporator coil facing the room that will be cooled, and a condensing coil facing the outside. Most have a two or three speed fan for blowing the cool air into the room. The PTAC units that come with heating for cool weather use have a reverse heating cycle, in which a four-way valve is used for reversing the refrigerant flow. Some PTAC units come with auxiliary heating units for when the normal PTAC heating capacity is insufficient.
Older Carrier PTAC units came with mechanical control panels with push buttons for selecting heating or cooling mode and fan speed. A knob was used for setting the intensity of the heating or cooling. However, newer PTAC units began using electronic touch pad controls in place of the rather clunky mechanical controls of older machines. Newer units also began featuring energy saving modes based on time intervals. In some systems, the PTAC units can be programmed to operate only within certain temperature ranges for energy savings.
One reason for the great popularity of PTAC units is that installation is fairly straightforward, and similar from brand to brand. In other words, Amana PTAC units install in a similar manner to Carrier PTAC units. Typical installation requires a louver, a metal sleeve, a heating coil, the PTAC unit itself, and a room enclosure for the interior side of the unit.
The three important things to consider when choosing a PTAC unit are BTUs, size, and voltage. BTU calculators are readily available online to help you determine how many BTUs are needed based on a room’s square footage. You can now also choose add-ons like designer enclosures. Older Carrier PTAC units, like many older PTAC units, tended to look somewhat clunky and intrusive, but enclosures can go a long way toward improving the looks of the interior part of a PTAC unit. You can get them made from 18 gauge steel and you can even get them powder coated in designer colors. This is an easy way to update the looks of a room with a PTAC system when the PTAC system still works well, but looks dated.
Though new Carrier PTAC units are no longer being made, there are still plenty of used ones in use and on the market, and finding parts for them is not a problem. PTAC units are the best overall choice in many applications, like motels, because they are powerful enough to cool and heat effectively and allow individual room temperature control. Because of their fairly standard dimensions, they are are easy to replace when necessary, and can be replaced one by one on an as-needed basis. Today’s PTAC units are more efficient than ever, and it looks like nothing on the horizon is a threat to the huge PTAC market in North America.