Package units get their name from the fact that all of the components are housed in one cabinet which is installed outside the house, on the ground or sometimes on the roof.
Types of Package Units
Gas Package Units: These are also called gas/electric package units since they use a gas furnace for heating and and electric condensing unit for cooling. Often, they are simply called gas packs.
Heat Pump Package Units: These package units consist of heat pump that is used for heating and air conditioning and an air handler which circulates air.
Air Conditioner Package Units: These contain a central air conditioner and an air handler, but no source of heat.
Package units are connected to the home with 2 ducts. One carries treated (heated or cooled) into the house while the second duct carries untreated air to the system. For the specifics on how air conditioners, heat pumps and gas furnaces work, see the related guides.
Sizing the Package Unit
Package units are made in various sizes to accommodate different homes and buildings. It is important to get the size correct. If too small, it will be inadequate for your homes heating and cooling needs. If too large, it will waste energy, cause unbalanced heating and cooling, and may have mechanical problems. The key is to have a qualified HVAC contractor do a load calculation that takes into account the homes size, layout, insulation, windows, the Los Angeles climate, and other factors.
It makes sense to insist on a new load calculation each time a package unit is installed, even if it is simply replacing an old system. It is possible the original sizing may have been inaccurate since some contractors simply estimate size based on the homes square footage alone. If youve upgraded windows or added insulation, these may also affect the size of the package unit youll need.
Factors Affecting Package Unit Cost in Los Angeles
Capacity: The larger the package unit, the more it will cost.
Efficiency: Most package unit furnaces are approximately 80% efficient. The condensing units range in efficiency from 13 SEER to about 18 SEER. The higher the SEER rating, the more expensive the unit will be. However, it will also use less energy and reduce utility bills.
Performance Features: The primary features that cause an increase in costs are 2–stage compressors, 2–stage furnace gas valves and variable–speed blowers. These features allow for more precise control of temperature, air filtration and humidity. They raise the cost of the package unit.
Installation Issues: Where installation is time–consuming or requires additional material, it will cost more than a simple installation.
Choosing a San Diego Contractor
Finding a dependable contractor of the highest quality can be a hit or miss proposition without a strategy. These steps will allow you to find a quality contractor.
See our Contractors Page for a list of the top area contractors. Click on each one to read customer reviews and ratings.
Ask others for recommendations. When you hear positive things about contractors also on our list, jot down those companies. Ask others about the quality of the work and the fairness of the pricing.
Select 3 to get written estimates from and choose the contractor you feel has the right combination of expertise and price.
Request free estimates online. This is the most convenient way to go. The contractors are pre–screened for your convenience and there is no cost or obligation.