Packaged units are all-in-one central heating and cooling solutions located outside on the roof, in a crawl space or at ground level.
Gas/Electric Packaged Units combine a gas furnace and electric air conditioning.
Heat Pump Packaged Units cool using the refrigeration cycle and heat through reverse refrigeration.
Dual-Fuel (Hybrid) Packaged Units combine heat pump cooling and heating along with backup furnace heating.
They all require ductwork for the air distribution throughout the indoor space.
Choosing a packaged unit for your climate zone
South Florida and the area south of Texas can choose a cooling-only packaged air conditioner with optional electric heater coil. Since the weather is very mild with few heating days, it’s still cost-effective to use an electric heater.
Southern US regions will do well to select a heat pump packaged unit. Their ability to offer high SEER cooling along with energy-efficient heat simply by reversing the refrigeration cycle is sufficient for zones where the temperature rarely drops below 20°F. For the few days that the temperature might fall below 20°F, a backup electric coil will suffice for auxiliary heat without breaking the bank.
Northern regions where winter temperatures can get extreme require fuel heat. Choices include electric air conditioning and gas heat or a dual fuel, hybrid packaged unit.