What is the best ptac unit? I've been thinking about this question alot lately. I get a ton of questions about which packaged terminal air conditioner is right for them. Half of this question concerns specific needs: what size room are you heating and cooling? What climate are you in? Humid climates may not need elecric heat strips. Cold climates might want to consider a pthp (ptac with a heat pump). The other half of the equation is which brand of ptac outperforms the others? I asked a Trane Service Manager this very question.
What is the best ptac unit?
First consider ptac size and usage...
The best ptac unit is one that fits your particular needs and does the job reliably. Make sure that you buy a ptac that is the correct size for the particular space you are heating and cooling. A 6000 BTU unit isn't going to cool a 1000sq. feet room. You can check our PTAC size and capacity page here, or simply keep in mind the sizing rule of thumb: 30 BTUs per square foot.
Also, make sure you are buying the type of ptac you need. Do you need a heat pump (pthp) or will a ptac with no heat option be acceptable? In colder climates maybe a heat pump and electric heat strips should be considered.
Please consider that a particular brand or specific unit that worked fabulously for one company or organization, may not have fared so well for another. These are subjective observations on which ptac unit has done well over time.
Now, once you've got the correct size narrowed down...
Which manufacturer offers the most reliable packaged terminal air conditioner for a reasonable price?
For this question I went directly to the source: I spoke to a Trane Service Manager on the gulf coast who deals with ptacs on a daily basis, both at condos and hotels. Here's what he had to say: (drum roll...)
The Amana ptac units are easy to work on. They are service friendly. Replacement parts are easy to get, and they are fairly trouble free.
The Samsung ptacs are easy to work on but getting parts can be difficult to get and they are expensive.
The GE ptacs are not too much trouble, but the warranty has to be handled by a factory authorized service tech or they won't warranty the parts.
The service manager ended by saying, "Amana ptac units are by far the best. Costs less and lasts longer." I'd heard this before, but it was nice to get confirmation from "the source". As always, if you have any thoughts on this topic, please send us an email. We'd love to hear from you. info (at mark) ptacairconditioner (dot) org.