Definition of PTAC: Package Terminal Air Conditioners

Did your local HVAC contractor suggest a PTAC Air Conditioner (Package Terminal Air Conditioner), but neglect to explain what one is? Often used in the hospitality industry, a PTAC is a self-contained air conditioner installed through-the-wall of rooms with an outside wall. One PTAC is installed for each room, and the occupant of each room can control the temperature of that room independently from other rooms. Some PTAC units include an optional heating unit as well.

How Cost-effective are They?

Because PTAC units are typically installed in rooms with a wall leading directly to the outside, they don’t require ductwork, which can substantially reduce both installation cost and the amount of space needed for installation. However, they are typically less efficient than central air conditioning systems, which increases their cost over time.

What is the best climate for PTAC Air Conditioners?

Moderate climates are best suited for PTAC Air Conditioners. Severe cold or hot weather will overwork the unit, compromising its efficiency.


  • Inexpensive to purchase per unit Because PTAC Air Conditioners are purchased on a per-room-needed basis, you need only buy the units one at a time.
  • Inexpensive to operate Because PTAC Air Conditioners are self-contained units that heat each room individually, you only use the amount of energy that it takes to heat or cool a room unlike other heating systems, such as central heat and air that heat or cool an entire house.
  • Energy Efficient You won’t waste energy by heating/cooling rooms that are not being used.


Purchasing can be costly if buying several units at a time to heat/cool the entire house. PTACs are often noisier than comparably powerful mini-split air conditioners.

Which companies make PTAC Air Conditioners?

Several companies manufacture PTAC Air Conditioners including:

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