PTAC units are available in a variety of different capacities; however, most of the time, no matter what manufacturer they are made by, they all tend to be approximately the same size; this is especially true of the through the wall units. Why? There is already a hole in the wall that is built for the PTAC unit and if the manufacturer's made them in different sizes, it would be hard for the consumer to upgrade their existing units.
The PTAC Unit: Size and Capacity Considerations
There is an industry standard dimension for through the wall PTAC air conditioner units. The dimensions for the wall sleeve are 42" wide, 14 1/8" deep, and 16 1/16" in height, on average. This makes fitting a new sleeve into the hole that has already been created for the existing unit easy. Customers are able to update their existing units without any worries at all. Of course, ptac air conditioner units are designed to fit perfectly within the wall sleeves; therefore, it is also easy for the consumer to switch to a different brand if needed or wanted. For example, at the current time Carrier ptacs are no longer being manufactured and parts are becoming scarce. This will probably force many consumers to update to new units by a different manufacturer in upcoming years.
Packaged air conditioner units are available in many different operating capacities. We will talk capacity in terms of BTUs. The capacity of the packaged air conditioner unit that you need will be determined by the square footage of the area in which you wish to heat or cool. The following are the capacities that are available with most manufacturers when it comes to their packaged air conditioner units.
- 100-150 square feet = 5000 BTU needed
- 150-250 square feet = 6000 BTU needed
- 250-300 square feet = 7000 BTU needed
- 300-350 square feet = 8000 BTU needed
- 350-400 square feet = 9000 BTU needed
- 400-450 square feet = 10000 BTU needed
- 450-550 square feet = 12000 BTU needed
- 550-700 square feet = 14000 BTU needed
- 700-1000 square feet = 18000 BTU needed
- 1000-1400 square feet = 24000 BTU needed
Most manufacturers produce packaged air conditioner units in these capacities; however, what does BTU mean? BTU is short for British thermal unit and it is a measurement for thermal heat energy. BTU is a commonly used term. One BTU is the energy that it would take to heat one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit. When speaking in terms of air conditioning and cooling the air, BTUs work in the same manner. In air conditioning, a BTU would be the amount of thermal energy that is removed from the air. When speaking in terms of BTUs the larger the BTUs the larger the capacity that the unit has for either heating or cooling.
Other Important Information
There are always outside determining factors for heating and cooling an area. For example, how well insulated is the room? What is the surface area of the room? Are there any other internal heat sources such as a pizza oven present in the room? Is there any source of energy transfer in the room, such as sunlight? What is the outside temperature? What is the indoor temperature? What temperature do you want to heat or cool the room to?
The answers to these questions will also help you determine what packaged air conditioner capacity you will need. These determining factors could definitely throw off the regular way of thinking and what size of unit that you need. If any of these factors come into play with the area in which you want to heat or cool, you may want to consult with a HVAC engineer. They will better be able to help you in determining the right size, capacity-wise, that you need for your particular space.
Packaged air conditioners are available in many different capacities and most of the time you can use the standard square footage measurement system to determine the capacity that you need; however, external factors can cause this normal way of thinking to be a bit off, and in those cases, your best bet would be to consult with an HVAC engineer.