Everything to Know About Commercial Rooftop Units
Cooling a large commercial building in the hot, humid summers around Delaware and Pennsylvania takes a powerful air conditioning system. When you need a system like this, ground-mounted condensing units aren’t always practical. Rooftop units can meet your needs with greater convenience and flexibility.
How Rooftop Units are Different
Most homes with central air conditioning use a system with a ground ( side-yard) condenser located outdoors on a concrete slab. These are usually split systems, which consist of an indoor air handler and an outdoor condensing unit. This works well because the relatively small condenser installed at the average home doesn’t hog a lot of space or create too much noise.
For a large commercial building, however, the size of the condenser required is such that installing it on the roof has a number of advantages. Rooftop units are packaged systems, meaning all their components are contained in a single outdoor cabinet.
Savings and Convenience
Cold air naturally sinks, so split A/C systems use extra energy pushing cool air up into the air ducts. The cool air’s natural tendency works in a roof-mounted system’s favor, making it easier for the system to distribute the air. This means reduced energy use and lower cooling bills.
Ground-mounted condensers occupy valuable land that could be put to other, more profitable use. The indoor unit also takes up space inside your building. Roof units are tucked away on space that would otherwise go unused. That leaves you with more space for building additions or parking outdoors and storage or equipment indoors.
While modern commercial air conditioning units can be as quiet as a normal conversation, when the condenser is on the ground, the noise produced can still be a distraction to your workers. When installed on the roof, the condensers are out of earshot.
Roof-mounted systems can be configured to house all the components needed for both your air conditioning and heating systems. With this type of system, you won’t need a separate heating system, which helps you save even more space and simplifies maintenance.
Because rooftop units can provide either electrically powered or gas-powered heating, you can choose the power source that’s most economical for you.
Rooftop units are modular, allowing you to easily add new units or redesign the system as necessary. In a system with multiple units, the units can be arranged to best meet the specific cooling needs of each part of the building.
Easier Care and Maintenance
A/C units that are high off the ground will accumulate less dust and other debris than ground-mounted units, making them easier to keep clean. They’re also less vulnerable to accidental damage and vandalism.
Professional maintenance will be faster and easier because your technician won’t have to walk around the grounds to attend to multiple units. If something goes wrong, the technician can more easily pinpoint the source of your A/C problem than if they had to inspect a separate indoor air handler, outdoor condenser, and the contentions between them.
Before you decide to go with a roof-mounted system, consider whether or not your roof will be able hold the weight. These systems are ideally suited to the flat roofs found on most commercial buildings, but it’s not always possible to install them on peaked roofs. Because their components need to be hauled up to the roof, installing a rooftop unit is more expensive than installing a ground-mounted unit.