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Pro’s and Cons of a Rooftop AC Unit

Rooftop AC units can be found on residential and commercial properties. Each unit contains the compressor, evaporator and condenser coil, fan, and other components in a single casing. It’s connected via ductwork to various parts of a building, to distribute cooled or warmed air. Here, we’ll explain why a rooftop unit (RTU) can be beneficial for your home, along with some possible downsides.

Pro’s of a Rooftop AC Unit

  • Energy Efficiency: An RTU and its components are manufactured to consume less energy, so it’s possible you may end up spending less on utility costs, no matter how much the system is used.
  • Faster Installation: Only a single unit is installed rather than different components in different locations. However, only a trusted technician should install and connect the system.
  • Conserve Space: No room in your home or commercial property, or in the yard, is required for components to be installed. Space is maximized, especially in smaller buildings.
  • Easier to Repair and Maintain: Since all components are in one place, it’s simpler to service the unit, replace parts, and perform inspections so dealing with issues is straightforward.
  • Less Likely to Be Damaged: A rooftop AC unit is generally out of reach of stray softballs or off course lawnmowers. Thieves looking for AC units and parts can’t reach it either.
  • Less Noise: Loud sounds from equipment won’t be heard if the unit is on the roof, that is unless people have access to and spend time up there.
  • Doesn’t Drain onto the Street: When the AC unit produces condensation, the excess water drains via your roof gutters, instead of draining directly onto a walkway, sidewalk, or street.

Con’s of a Rooftop AC Unit

  • Possible Damage to the Roof Membrane: Installing an AC unit on a flat roof risks damage to the roof’s membrane and various roofing materials. Increased foot traffic by HVAC installation, repair, and maintenance personnel can cause wear.
  • A Condensation Line Problem Can Damage Roof Materials: If the condensation line becomes clogged, water can pool up on the roof, causing roofing materials to rot and water to leak into the building.
  • Low Spots Due to Poor Installation: Installation errors can cause low spots to form on the roof, which can lead to ponding of water, especially after it rains. Improved drainage and filling of low spots can avoid this.
  • More Difficult to Spot Small Issues: When the AC is on the roof, it can be harder to notice debris that can disrupt airflow or noise that can signal a problem with a fan, belt, motor, or other component.
  • Vulnerability During Extreme Weather: A rooftop AC unit is exposed to the elements, so everything from direct sunlight to severe storms, to debris blown by the wind, can affect it.
  • They Can Attract Wildlife: Birds may find the AC unit the perfect place to find shelter or set up a nest. Even rodents have been found to take notice.

Contact Hays Heating, Cooling & Plumbing

Specialized in high-quality Trane AC systems, our AC replacement and installation professionals are familiar the latest technologies and can help choose and install the right sized rooftop AC unit. We can provide some of the most efficient solutions on the market. To schedule service or learn more about special offers and financing, call 602-497-2905 today.

About the Author

Chris Hays

Founder of Hays Cooling, Heating & Plumbing

Chris and Stacia Hays, are the founders of Hays Cooling, Heating & Plumbing; a family operated HVAC company in Phoenix founded in 2001 that services both commercial and residential customers. Chris leads a team of certified technicians who have over 45 years of combined experience and has earned and A+ rating with the BBB and a strong five star rating online. Hays Cooling, Heating & Plumbing focuses on providing support to their customers every step of the way, with exceptional service and competitive prices. If you are looking for top-notch air conditioning and heating service, contact Hays today.