Rooftop Air Conditioner vs. A Side-Yard Air Conditioner

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Often times it is assumed that generally, all air conditioners are the same. In theory, this is a statement of fact, as the general purpose of these systems is to remove hot air from inside a home, chill this air though a cooling process and return it to the home to reduce the temperature. However, there are two unique styles of AC systems in Arizona that have individual benefits that allow home owners to maximize indoor comfort. In order to determine which type of system is best for you, it’s important to outline the benefits of rooftop air conditioners vs a side-yard air conditioner.

For home owners in North Scottsdale, Phoenix and surrounding cities in the Valley of the Sun, finding a quality-built air conditioner that keeps them comfortable during triple-digit temperatures is essential. Although there are several types of AC systems available for homeowners; the truth is there are more questions about which type of system is best. That being said, let’s compare the benefits of the rooftop AC system and the side-yard AC system.

Comparing Rooftop and Side-Yard AC Systems

What are the Advantages of Rooftop Air Conditioner?

Generally speaking, a rooftop air conditioner is a centralized cooling system that is different than many side-yard AC systems or what are often referred to as ‘split systems’). The rooftop AC system is installed on the top of your home and then routed through the ductwork of the home to keep your house cool.

Home owners living the Phoenix Valley tend to notice a few benefits of installing this type of system to keep their homes cool and comfortable such as:

  • Air typically cycles easier through your home. In middle school general science courses, we are taught that warm air rises naturally, while cool air will descend. Due to the laws of physics of cold air, a roof top system doesn’t need to force air hard into a home. Conversely, it also does not need to draw warm air as hard. The result is less energy consumed to operate these systems. This makes rooftop systems extremely energy efficient.
  • Rooftop air conditioners are all-inclusive. Most side-yard or ‘central air’ systems have components inside the home and outside the home. This means that when a problem occurs, it can be challenging to work on the systems. However, a roof top system has everything contained in one-easy to access location; making repairs, routine maintenance and service easier to complete for an AC company in Phoenix that offers maintenance programs.
  • Newer roof top systems are smaller and more compact than older systems. As technology improves, so does efficiency. Leading manufacturers of rooftop AC systems have received feedback from customers about trying to make them smaller, and attractive. Not only have they listened to customers, but they create stylish rooftop AC systems that fit naturally – which can improve home equity.

What are the Advantages of Side-Yard Air Conditioning Systems?

Although the rooftop AC system has multiple benefits, installing a side-yard AC unit also comes with several attributes that any homeowner in Phoenix should consider.

  • Side-yard or split AC systems are diverse and offer more customization. Side-yard AC systems are varied, highly diverse and offer homeowners more options to consider. There are multiple vendors, sizes, powers, and options available for homeowners to consider. This allows the search for a perfectly sized and energy efficient AC system much easier for home owners. Having the luxury of picking one perfectly sized for your individual home is a huge consumer benefit.
  • There are more repair and replacement options. Since there are two elements to a side yard system (the inside fans and outside unit) if one of the systems fails and needs to be replaced, you can often get by without replacing the other one. This typically results in the overall replacement cost being lower in some cases. Truth be told however, this can be deceiving since eventually, you’ll have to pay to replace the other component. Always consult with a professional AC contractor in Phoenix to seek their recommendation on replacing components.
  • New side-yard systems are quieter than older systems. While the rooftop systems have become smaller and visually pleasing, side-yard or split AC systems have increasingly become more quite over the years. This is a huge benefit for home owners that have their AC system installed next to a bedroom; especially in the evening hours where the temperature outside still eclipses 90 at midnight.

Comparing Maintenance Rooftop and Side-Yard AC Systems

The key to longevity of any mechanical piece of equipment is staying true to routine service and maintenance guidelines. This is especially true in the HVAC space. While rooftop and side-yard AC systems have individual advantages, without servicing them as recommended, you risk premature wear and tear.

So – let’s breakdown some of the maintenance and service offerings that will allow you to get the most out of your AC equipment – and extend its lifespan.

Rooftop and Side-Yard AC System Maintenance

One of the important features of a rooftop AC system is its ability to efficiently “cool” warm air that naturally rises to it. This reduces the draw or stress on the unit. However, it doesn’t reduce the need for routine service. Noted below are a few important scheduled maintenance tips that any potential rooftop AC system or side-yard AC system customer should consider prior to making the investment.

  • Inspect the outside condition: Since a rooftop and side-yard unit is always exposed to the outside elements, it can take quite a beating (especially in hot and dry Phoenix). This reality introduces the need to physically inspect the AC system at least twice per year. Sometimes excessive dirt and debris can collect on the outer panels, making it difficult for the unit to breathe efficiently.
  • Replacing indoor filters: Like any HVAC system, the rooftop or side-view unit is dependent on the smooth flow of air throughout. When the indoor filters are clogged with dirt, dust, and other contaminants, it reduces the efficient flow of air, and can cause increased strain.
  • Cleaning the Evaporator and Condenser Coils: These two components are vital to removing heat from air (which is how an AC unit works). They can (and often will) become dirty and will require cleaning. It’s always best to let a professional AC maintenance company in Phoenix complete this for you.
  • Inlet Screen Maintenance: The inlet screen protects the inside of the AC system, but it also collects the majority of dust, dirt, and other debris. Items like leaves, twigs, and even animal waste can clog this screen.
  • Inspecting the Fans: There are a few blower motors and fans that work in conjunction to circulate air throughout the home. These fans need to be visually inspected and tightened / cleaned for optimal performance.
  • Tightening Belts: Both types of AC systems have blower belts that will eventually wear out, loosen, and may break. It’s important to inspect the condition of the belt, pulley’s and the blower itself at least once per year.

Overall, when you compare rooftop AC systems vs. side-yard AC systems, they both have advantages and offer consumers flexibility. Both rooftop air conditioner units and side-yard systems are good options for homeowners in Phoenix to consider. The best advice we can give is to carefully consider your home, your needs and speak with a qualified heating and air conditioning company in Phoenix. You’ll be surprised to learn that most companies will give you factual, not inflated, info if you ask them directly.