What’s the Difference Between Split System and Packaged Air Conditioners?

If you’re shopping around for a new central air conditioner for your home, you’ve probably seen that there are two main types:

  • Split systems
  • Packaged systems

But do you know which one your home has or why? In this blog you’ll learn:

  • The differences between these two systems
  • The pros and cons of each
  • How to know which one fits your home’s needs

Split air conditioning system

What it is: In a split-system central air conditioner there are two parts an outdoor metal cabinet and an indoor cabinet. That’s why it’s called a “split” system.

The outdoor cabinet contains the condenser and compressor and typically sits on a concrete slab outside your home.

The indoor cabinet contains the evaporator and is usually located in the attic or a closet. The indoor cabinet also typically includes a furnace (or the inside part of a heat pump). The indoor and outdoor units are connected by a refrigerant line.

Greater energy efficiency possibilities – Split air conditioning systems have SEER ratings from 13 to 23.
Labor costs – Labor costs more because you are installing a unit outside the house and also inside (usually in the attic or crawlspace, depending on the type of air handler). Also, the system can’t be charged with refrigerant until it has been set in place, which adds to the cost.
When you’d want this:
It’s a more cost efficient choice if your home already has a furnace, and you are purchasing a new air conditioning unit or replacing an older unit.
Learn more about this on’s website.

unnamed (1)

Packaged air conditioning system

What it is: The evaporator, condenser, and compressor are all located in one cabinet and thus “packaged” together. This single cabinet is usually placed on a roof.

Some packaged air conditioners can include electric heating coils or a natural gas furnace. That means you won’t need a separate furnace inside.


  • Space efficiency – Unlike split-system units, the package unit has all the components in one place.
  • Cheaper installation – Since packaged units can come pre-charged with refrigerant, and they are only installed outside, installation is cheaper than a split unit.


  • Limited energy efficiency: Packaged units typically have a SEER rating from 10 to 18.

The Importance of Indoor Air Quality

Your indoor air should be free of pollutants and contaminants that can make you ill. A poorly designed or maintained heating and cooling system cannot cycle the air in your home as it should. This dirty indoor air will coat your air conditioning and heating equipment as well as all surfaces in your home or commercial business. Let us help you clean it up with an efficient system or combination of systems that are right for your space. Our expert indoor air quality technicians can evaluate your property and recommend the best equipment to keep your indoor air clean, fresh, and healthy.

About A1 Elite Air Condition

At A1 Elite Air condition, we are proud to be a family owned and operated air conditioning company Encino,CA serving Los Angeles County residents and businesses. We have been in operation since 1999. Our heating and air conditioning technicians have the knowledge, skill, and experience necessary to care for every portion of your HVAC system.



Weather Forecast