When my husband decided to move his office into a new building, we realized right away that heating and cooling the new building was going to be an issue. The landlord of the office building wasn’t about to spend any money to update the heating and air conditioning system that already existed, and my husband wasn’t about to suffer with the terrible heat in the summer and freezing cold in the winter that he was sure to encounter in the new space. We wanted to find some sort of air conditioning system that was especially designed for commercial spaces like my husband’s office building. When we did a little bit of research, we found that something called a packaged terminal air conditioner, otherwise known as a PTAC, is just such an A/C unit.
Packaged Terminal Air Conditioners (PTAC) are units that are designed especially for commercial spaces. They are made to be permanently installed into the wall. In order to permanently installed into the wall in a commercial space, PTAC units use a compatible wall sleeve that’s designed specifically for each unit. Installation into a wall provides an air conditioning solution for large rooms within buildings. They are usually used in hotel rooms, large offices like my husband’s 450 square foot space, and sometimes in classrooms or medical offices. This sort of air conditioning system sounded exactly like what we needed for the office, so I decided that I would go and look at some of them in person.
Since we have a new Menard’s Home Improvement Center near our house, I decided to go there to check out the Packaged Terminal Air Conditioners there. The first one that I saw on the shelf in the heating and cooling section of the store was the Comfort Aire 12,000 BTU 208/230-Volt Packaged Terminal Air Conditioner. This unit features 11,800 to 12,000 BTUH of cooling and it also offers 12,000 BTUH of heat. Heating wasn’t something that my husband was looking for, but having the option would definitely be a good thing. He also measured the space at the office, and he knew that he couldn’t exceed 43” in width. Luckily for us, the dimensions on this particular unit were 42” wide and 16” high. This Comfort Aire system has a digital control system, and it will cool between 500 and 600 square feet. There is a removable nylon filter to help with ease of cleaning, and the maximum noise level it outputs is 44 decibels. It has 2 speeds, a 60 inch power cord, and it weighs 121 pounds. I was happy to see that it uses a 20A 6-20 P plug type, which is something that we already had available in the office space. The Menard’s store had three of this particular unit left on the shelf, and they were priced at $719.99. Since I had a 20% off coupon because of the store’s grand opening, I could save another $144 off of this Comfort Aire 12,000 BTU 208/230-Volt Packaged Terminal Air Conditioner.
Next, I looked at a unit called the Soleus Air® 12,000 BTU 208/230-Volt Packaged Terminal Air Conditioner with Heat. this is a 10,800 BTU heat pump heater. It’s also made for commercial use such as in an office building. It can heat and cool rooms up to 450 square feet in size. It also has an electronic control panel with a digital temperature display that’s easy to see and large buttons that are easy to push. Like the other unit I looked at, this one also has two fan speeds that will run in cooling and heating modes. The unit will also run in a fan only mode if programmed to do that. There’s an auto mode that you can choose if you want to automatically control the temperature. The Soleus Air® 12,000 BTU 208/230-Volt Packaged Terminal Air Conditioner with Heat has to have a wall sleeve installed in order to function correctly. This unit comes with a 12 month warranty from Soleus for the components. It also has a 60 month warranty for the compressor. I liked the fact that this unit allows for remote operation and that it has a backup electric heat strip, just in case.
The cooling coverage for the Soleus Air® 12,000 BTU 208/230-Volt Packaged Terminal Air Conditioner with Heat is between 401-500 square feet of space. The filter type is removable and washable, and the wiring harness is included. The wattage for this unit runs at 1100 for cooling and 900 for heating, with a voltage of 208 and 230. The plug type is a three prong grounded NEMA 6-20 and the power cord length is 60 inches long, just like the other unit. This one weighs 110 pounds, so it would be a little easier for me to move. The purchase price for the Soleus unit was $679.99, so I could save about $20 if I purchased this one. I could still use my 20% discount coupon, too, so that was a plus.
I ended up going with the second unit, only because I liked the way that it looked more than the other one. The Soleus Air® 12,000 BTU 208/230-Volt Packaged Terminal Air Conditioner with Heat just looked sleeker than the other unit. I also was a fan of the 60 month warranty on the compressor, seeing as how we are footing the bill for this unit personally and not my husband’s company. Even though my husband thought that he could probably install the PTAC system himself, I decided to go ahead and call our HVAC company to come and do the installation for us. In my opinion, it’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to installing heating and cooling systems. After we set up an appointment with the HVAC technician, it just took him a couple of hours to get the Soleus Air unit up and running in my husband’s new office. I think he’s really going to be happy with the new system.