Understanding the difference between a package unit and an RTU (Roof Top Unit) is vital when considering the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) needs of a commercial building. Both types of units serve the purpose of controlling the indoor climate, but there are distinct differences in their structure and function that determine their suitability for specific applications.
An RTU, as the name implies, is typically installed on the rooftop of a commercial building. This type of system is often referred to as a “packaged unit” due to the fact that all the essential components of both a heating and cooling system are contained within one single enclosure. These components include an AC evaporator coil, which is responsible for absorbing heat from the air; an AC condenser coil, which releases the absorbed heat outside; and an AC compressor, which is considered the heart of the air conditioning system as it circulates refrigerant between the evaporator and condenser coils.
A package unit, in contrast, can be a little misleading by its name. While it also comprises all the necessary components for a complete HVAC system, it differs from an RTU in terms of its installation and configuration. Unlike an RTU, a package unit is not necessarily confined to rooftop installation. Depending on the design of the commercial building, it can also be installed on a concrete slab at ground level or even mounted on the side of a building.
Another key difference lies in how these units distribute air. An RTU typically utilizes ductwork to distribute conditioned air throughout the commercial building. On the other hand, a package unit can either utilize ductwork or use direct free blowing method to deliver conditioned air into the space.
The choice between an RTU and a package unit for a commercial building usually depends on various factors including available space for installation, structural design of the building, specific heating and cooling needs, and budget among others. An HVAC professional can provide valuable guidance in making this decision based on these factors. In conclusion, while both an RTU and package unit are integral to maintaining comfortable indoor climate in commercial buildings, understanding their differences can help make an informed choice that fits specific requirements.