What Causes PTAC Units to Fail in Warm and Humid Climates (Hint: None of the Factors are Rainwater-Related)

If PTAC (packaged terminal air conditioning) units were a federally regulated drug, each equipment sale would be required to include a list of side effects and cautionary notes. Unfortunately, the opposite is true—each PTAC buyer is provided with a list of unproven expectations and myths. These PTAC performance myths, enduring for decades, have contributed to an outsized number of mold and moisture building problems.

Over the past 30 years, building experts at Liberty Building Forensics Group (LBFG) have investigated hundreds of hotel moisture problems (involving thousands of PTAC units) and, in the process, have observed repetitive assumptions that appear to be ignored entirely by the industry.

Even though there is substantial evidence that PTAC units cannot consistently provide their stated (or implied) features, the astonishing truth is that there are entire industries (such as the hotel industry) that seem to believe they can - including owners, operators, developers, contractors, and designers.

This course has been designed to teach you what those myths are, how to avoid problems that come from them, and how to repair a problem if it has already occurred in your building.

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Key Takeaways:

  1. Uncover 3 myths about PTAC unit performance and learn how to address them in your next building.
  2. Discover the role that owner-driven brand standards can play in causing PTAC-related moisture and mold problems in certain climates.
  3. If you have a mold problem, learn how to pinpoint the PTAC issue that caused it and be able to fix it.
  4. While no one is going to stop using PTAC units, you can stop using them incorrectly. Identify and learn to avoid the top 3 factors that can cause the most prevalent PTAC problems.

Norman Nelson


Richard Scott, AIA # 30015737

Norman Nelson, P.E. OR, GA, HI, NC, SC, FL