Trade Ally Network Northwest

HVAC Tech Tip: Capture HVAC Savings by Replacing PTACs with PTHPs

March 6, 2023 | Trade Ally Network NW

Chances are that if you’ve stayed in a hotel or motel, you’ve used a Packaged Terminal Air Conditioner (PTAC) for heating and cooling your room. It’s also a good bet that your HVAC business has had to respond to maintenance, noise, or comfort complaints from guests regarding these systems.

The PTAC unit’s manageable size and simple operation make it an appealing choice for hotels and motels, especially in rural areas where gas service to a central HVAC system may not be available. But PTACs are extremely inefficient for heating a space because they rely entirely on electric resistance heat and rarely have controls set up to vary the output. In colder climates this means they may run on full heat output for many hours, and most guests don’t take the time to turn them off when they leave the room.

A simple and cost-effective solution is to replace that PTAC unit with a Packaged Terminal Heat Pump (PTHP). PTHPs look identical to PTACs and fit in the same wall sleeve. They are quickly becoming a sought-after solution for energy-efficient heating and cooling in senior residences, commercial lodging and multifamily homes. While PTHPs and PTACs offer similar cooling performance, their heating methods are very different. Instead of using an electric resistance heating element to deliver forced air heat, the PTHP functions like a traditional heat pump, drawing warmth from the outside air, even in cooler temperatures. This method can be up to four times more energy efficient than electric resistance heating while producing an even, comfortable heat. That means saving time with fewer maintenance issues and guest complaints, and saving money without depending on guests to turn off the units while they are away.

In addition to improving comfort and lowering energy use, PTHPs qualify for incentives that can reduce upfront costs and improve overall project economics. Your local utility may offer up to $600 per unit for qualifying retrofits and $100 per unit for new construction installations.

If your local hotels and motels are in the market for an HVAC refresh, reach out to your local Trade Ally Network NW field specialist to find out whether your project may qualify for these incentives.

Category: Best Practices Technology

Tags: cold climate cooling heating hotels hvac motels Packaged Terminal Air Condfitioner PTAC PTHP