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    HVAC Packaged Unit vs. Split System Denver, CO

    HVAC systems are the home heating/cooling units installed to meet your heating, ventilation, and cooling needs throughout the year. Most homeowners choose the central heating HVAC systems and let go of outdated heating methods like window air conditioners.

    hvac systems heating cooling

    The two different types of HVAC systems available on the market are the packaged units and split systems. While their functioning is the same, the difference lies in their installation, size, and configuration. Both are responsible for home heating/cooling and work well if installed properly by experts like JD’s Plumbing.

    If you are currently deciding whether to buy a new unit for your home, the expert consultants at JD’s Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning are just a call away to discuss the entire setup and procedure with you and suggest the system best suited to your house.

    But first, let’s understand what each system is:

    HVAC Packaged Unit

    A packaged home heating unit is an all-in-one system that contains the entire system in one metal packing and includes the following components:

    • Condenser
    • Compressor
    • Fan
    • Motor
    • Evaporator coil
    • Furnace

    All of these are nicely set together in a boxed unit usually installed outdoors.

    This kind of HVAC unit is the preferred choice for Denver homes. If your house can’t accommodate an indoor air-handler system, this is your go-to choice.


    The packaged unit is preferably placed on the roof. However, if there isn’t a roof space available, it can be installed on a cement slab outside your home, usually in the backyard.


    The heating and cooling functions of this outdoor unit are available inside the house, through a network of specially designed ducting. The connecting wires let the homeowners control the temperature without having to go outside to the unit.

    HVAC Split System

    As the name suggests, the HVAC split unit has its components split between the inside and the outside of the house. Components like fans and evaporator coil reside inside the house while the compressor is on the outside. This is more suitable for houses with larger indoor space and perhaps, a basement.


    The split system has the condenser and the compressor in a metal housing, which is placed outside the house. Through refrigeration lines, this outdoor cabinet connects with the rest of the furnace’s system inside the house, including the controls, which in turn connect with an array of duct pipes pushing air at the desired temperature across the house.


    remote air conditioner turn adjust air conditioner room

    Free Guide: How Much Does It Cost to Install a Ductless AC in Denver?

    Like the packaged unit, the HVAC split system also offers controls from inside the house for a comfortable user experience and ease of access.

    Advantages of Packaged HVAC Unit

    Depending upon your requirements, the packaged unit comes with several benefits.

    Ease of Installation

    It is easier and less time-consuming for technicians to install an all-in-one system. This leads to decreased installation costs and less space being occupied.

    Quiet Fans

    With the entire system residing outside, Denver homeowners have to bear little to no noise of the equipment and the motor, etc. If all the parts are well-maintained, users will have a pretty noiseless experience with this HVAC system.

    Ease of Maintenance

    HVAC technicians find it easier to service and maintain the system when all of it is in the same place. The cleaning of air duct pipes, however, needs deeper work in both systems.

    SEER Rating

    The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio for packaged units is 13 to 18, and they are mostly Energy-certified. Higher SEER ratings result in more efficient working and better cooling of your home.

    HVAC Split Units

    Here are the benefits of installing split units:

    Ductless Systems

    The latest mini-split heat pumps offer zoned air conditioning. They comprise a small outdoor unit and small mounted indoor units as per the requirement. It is a cost-effective choice for places with smaller air-conditioning requirements.

    Cost-Effective Choice

    The less energy it uses, the lower your electricity bill will be, so you’ll save more money.


    The newer ductless models of split systems have the lowest maintenance cost of nearly all HVAC systems available on the market.

    hvac split unit maintenance

    Considerations for Packaged HVAC Unit vs. Split System

    While we have already discussed the benefits, it is important to take into account different factors when choosing an appropriate unit.

    HVAC Packaged Unit

    Roof Placement/Installation

    It is difficult to place, install, and maintain a packaged unit on the roof of the house, as it needs to be carried up there by the technicians. Sometimes the roof installation, if badly handled, leads to leaks and other complications.

    Wear and Tear

    The outdoor climate is harsh on the metallic housing of the packaged system. It is more exposed to sunlight, moisture, and air, and therefore eventually becomes rusty. Sometimes small animals get inside through the slits and gain shelter, damaging the wiring and other complicated components.

    HVAC Split Units


    Split systems are a bit more difficult to maintain as the technicians have a lot of parts to separately service. Hence, the cost of maintenance is higher than for a packaged unit. Additionally, homeowners have to look out for cracks or the possibility of bad ductwork, which reduces the performance considerably.


    Since the furnace is placed inside the house, homeowners have to bear with the noise it generates.

    Difficulty in Installation

    Due to there being several components, HVAC technicians are likely to charge you a higher installation cost than for a packaged unit.

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    How to Choose the Right HVAC System

    Choosing the correct HVAC system depends on your house and the available space. For larger homes, a split system can be selected. For smaller homes, a packaged unit would be the wiser choice. Good maintenance can lead to higher efficiency and an excellent user experience, no matter what kind of system you have installed.

    If you are still unsure, give us a call and the experts at JD’s Plumbing Heating & AC will guide you through the decision.