PTAC Buying Guide

The PTAC Buying Guide

Installation and maintenance, operating expenses, and efficiency and longevity concerns can make finding the right PTAC complicated and overwhelming. Choosing the right unit and keeping it running is a breeze with Home Depot Pro and your facility maintenance expert.

Choosing the Right PTAC

Packaged terminal air conditioner unit

Step 1: Type

Your heating needs will help determine the type of unit that's right for you.

Each technology has benefits. Determining which is right for you will depend on where you live and how you plan to use your unit.

  • Electric Heat Units use more energy, but require less of an initial investment. They're typically quieter and work much better as a main source of heating than heat pump units. Best For: facilities in colder climates
  • Heat Pump Units typically cost more upfront, but that initial investment pays off in energy efficiency and cost savings over the life of the unit. These units are best for cooling your property during the summer months, not keeping spaces warm on especially cold nights. Best For: facilities in mild or warmer climates
GE-brand PTAC unit in room under window

Step 2: Size

Pick the right BTU output based on the characteristics of the room you'll be cooling and heating.

BTU output measures how much space a PTAC can effectively cool and heat. Every brand offers units in classes similar to 7000, 9000, 12000 and 15000 BTUs. The chart below can be used as a general guide, however, factors like average room occupancy and usage, ceiling height, insulation and the number of windows with direct sunlight also play an important role.

Large hotel room with sun coming through the window

Undersized units can result in uncomfortably warm and potentially humid spaces because they can't cool to the desired temperature or remove enough moisture from the air. The life span of your unit and your energy bill will also suffer due to the unit running nonstop.

Oversized units can result in temperature swings and damp, clammy environments. The short-cycling can also damage your unit and increase energy costs over the long term.

Hand plugging a cord into an electrical outlet in the wall

Step 3: Voltage

Select the right voltage based on the existing electrical service in your facility.

PTACs have different voltages and amperage requirements. Choose the unit based on your facility's existing electrical service.

  • Voltages: 230/208V or 265V
  • Amps: 12, 20 or 30

Choose a PTAC with a high energy efficiency rating to save on energy costs. A higher number means higher efficiency and lower energy usage. Units with higher BTUs will unsurprisingly use higher amounts of energy. There are two standard units of measure:

  • The Energy Efficiency Rating (EER), ranging from about 9.2 to 13.2
  • The Coefficient of Performance (COP), ranging from about 2.5 to 4.0
Close up of a thermostat control on a packed terminal air conditioner unit

Step 4: Brand

Choose the brand that offers the features and benefits that best fit your cooling and heating needs.

Home Depot Pro carries a wide variety of brands to meet any property's needs. See our top brands below:

Garrison logo

Unbeatable value without sacrificing quality

Amana Heating & Air Conditioning logo

Leaders in reliability

GE logo

Leaders in quality and efficiency, with the lowest noise levels

Friedrich logo

Leaders in special features, including anticorrosion

Choosing Parts & Accessories

Wall Sleeves

A wall sleeve is required to successfully install a PTAC. Make sure you choose one with the proper dimensions to match the unit you buy. If you're replacing an old unit, however, you can usually reuse the existing wall sleeve.

White PTAC wall sleeve

Grilles

Making sure you have the correct dimensions is key for picking a grille. Again, if you're replacing an existing unit, you should be able to reuse the grille.

Aluminum exterior grille for a packaged terminal air conditioner
Three drain kit pieces for a packaged terminal air conditioner

Drain Kits

If the outside of your unit is next to an area in which you don't want condensate running, this product can help collect and redirect it.

White Amana remote thermostat for PTAC units

Special Accessories

Optional accessories like remote thermostats can provide added convenience for guests or residents with limited mobility. However, it's usually better to incorporate these accessories while still in the building stage of the room. Occupancy sensors can offer the benefit of long-term energy cost savings.