What is a Gas Pack?

South End Plumbing, Heating, & Air Expert Tips

One type of packaged HVAC system is called a gas pack. It consists of everything you need to heat and cool your residence or building. A gas pack system comes equipped with a gas heater, air conditioner and evaporator coil.
Installing a gas pack system is a good option for those seeking a combination of power and efficiency. Thanks to the gas heating system, you’ll have great home heating power. The air conditioner and evaporator coil can properly cool your home. Gas pack systems are usually found in cooler environments.

Top Benefits of Gas Packs

Gas packs are smaller. A gas pack HVAC unit is built as two units in one. It takes up about half the space of usual exterior HVAC units.  This makes them a great selection for commercial spaces, rental properties or commercial properties, mobile homes, and other residential or commercial properties with minimal space. Old gas pack designs were frequently huge. Current systems have greatly improved technology and are smaller. It’s possible to mount them in multiple places, from your flooring to your roof. They are easier to repair and their smaller size makes them much easier to work on.

Gas packs are more energy efficient. Gas packs use electric AC power and natural gas. They are very budget friendly to run. If you are looking to efficiently heat and cool a typically-sized area, gas packs have a high AFUE rating. They generally convert 80-90% of energy to heat.

Gas pumps are versatile. A gas pack system can be coupled with hybrid heat units, packaged heat pumps, and packaged air conditioner units, making them versatile with any existing system or HVAC needs. You can choose from clean gas devices or propane-powered gas packs. You can get the function and efficiency that’s best for your region or property.

Gas Packs or Packaged Heat Pumps

Gas pack is short for gas/electric packaged unit. The name suggests it heats with gas and cools with electricity running a central AC  unit. The key is there are two different parts for both functions, heating and cooling. A heat pump has no furnace. Rather, a condensing unit gives heating in winter months and cooling in summer. This is done with a reversal valve that alters the direction and performance of the cooling agent. In air conditioning mode, the refrigerant gathers heat inside and sends it outdoors. It does the opposite in heat mode.

The main downside of a heat pump vs. a gas pack is that heat pumps are inadequate in making warm air when the temperature is below freezing. For that reason, a basic gas pack or a double fuel gas pack with a heat pump and a furnace is a better option in cold climates.

Gas Pack Pros and Cons

Gas packs are not the most effective option where a typical gas furnace and an AC split system can be set up. Most gas packs are installed where basic split systems aren’t an alternative because the home or structure doesn’t have a basement or when roof mounting is necessary. Here are gas pack system pros and cons.


  • Installation is easier and less expensive than a split system.
  • Maintenance and repair services are simpler, take less time and generally cost less.
  • Gas packs are quieter for the interior of a home since the whole system is outside.
  • Gas packs cost less than packaged heat pumps and a split system.
  • Twin fuel gas packs have a furnace and a heat pump and are ideal for very cold climates.


  • Split systems generally now have a 98%-plus efficiency now while gas packs average at about 81% efficiency.
  • In SEER ratings, a split system has a SEER at 19-26. A gas pack SEER rating is usually from 13-20.
  • Because the whole system lies outdoors, gas pack systems are more susceptible to weather damage.

Gas Pack Cost

The quality, efficiency and size of a gas pack system will factor into the cost. Here are a few other factors:

Where the gas pack is installed. Installation on a roof tends to be the most expensive place to install a gas pack. A crawl space or on the ground tends to be a less expensive place.

The time of year it’s installed. In climates where a winter installation isn’t probable or even possible, then other times on the calendar might make a cost difference. Installing a new unit in the late winter or late summer may be when HVAC technicians or companies aren’t as busy. In a warmer region, where work during the winter is possible, winter may be a good time to schedule a new system and get a less expensive price.

Choosing Size and Efficiency

What size gas pack do you need? The essential factors are your house, including its dimensions, as well as the region’s climate. In short, the bigger your home is and the colder the climate, the more powerful the system will need to be.

In terms of performance, you do not have any type of option for home heating, considering that gas pack furnaces are all 80% or 81% efficient, unlike split system gas heating systems that vary from 80% to 98% reliable. Your SEER rating is restricted, too. The majority of models have a 13-20 SEER score. The warmer and longer your summers are, the higher the SEER rating should be on the system you buy.


At South End Heating and Air we specialize in HVAC and furnace repair, call us for a free consult and free estimate. We’ll evaluate your system and help make recommendations for optimum value. After all, we want to keep you cool all summer long and warm in the winter. Just schedule a visit with one of our technicians to talk about how we can help with your heating needs. Would you like to learn more options our techs can help you with? Give us a call 704-684-5339.

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