HVAC systems for commercial buildings usually require a large space to accommodate the units that need to be installed. HVAC equipment is placed on the side or around the back of many buildings. This shouldn’t be a problem if you have a lot of space to spare. But in the case of smaller buildings or homes, there usually isn’t enough space on the ground for heating and cooling systems. If this is your main concern, or if you simply think your HVAC units will be an eyesore when placed in these areas, you might want to consider HVAC rooftop units (RTUs).
Here heating and air conditioning replacement expert Air Products & Services discusses the main benefits of RTUs. To provide a balanced view of this type of HVAC system and aid in your decision-making process, here we also list some of the drawbacks of choosing RTUs.
Advantages of RTUs
The following benefits make roof-mounted HVAC units an ideal choice for your home or building:
Space-Saving. RTUs allow you to free up floor space that can be used for production or manufacturing. Or instead of utilizing the space for large, heavy HVAC equipment, you can simply create outdoor spaces that will boost curb appeal. In the case of commercial buildings, such outdoor spaces can contribute to employee health and wellness — which is a more thoughtful way of using and occupying the spaces in and around your property.
Central Location for Heating and Cooling. An RTU HVAC system enables you to have all its components installed in one place. This makes it easier for technicians to diagnose HVAC problems and carry out heating or AC repair. Routine checks during HVAC maintenance can also be done more quickly and efficiently since all the components that need to be checked are in just one area. This means fewer disruptions to work or home activities.
Easy to Install. RTUs are generally easier to install, even on homes, because the components are produced in the factory and often come optimized. Most of these units are also pre-installed, so contractors usually have an easier time setting up this type of HVAC system. That said, you might be able to score lower labor costs if you opt for RTUs.
Energy-Efficient. Since the components of roof-mounted HVAC systems are produced and optimized in the factory, you can be sure that your heating and cooling system will run efficiently and consume less energy. This can potentially result in lower utility bills.
Disadvantages of RTUs. Much like your other options when it comes to HVAC systems, RTUs also have their fair share of disadvantages. Make sure to take the following drawbacks into account when making your decision:
Exposure to the Elements. Since your HVAC system will be installed on the rooftop, it will be exposed to various elements such as heat, rain, snow, wind and storms. That said, your RTU should have adequate protection in these conditions. It’s also important to provide your RTU with proper, regular maintenance so that it will be better equipped to withstand harsh weather conditions.
Vulnerable to Animals and Pests. RTUs can be susceptible to damage caused by animals and pests. Cats and birds, for instance, can get into your HVAC system and damage its components. The ducts and fans are particularly at risk of being damaged, so you might have to take extra steps to protect your heating and cooling system from such creatures.
Ideal Only for Small Buildings. RTUs will only work on smaller buildings (less than 10 stories) because cold and warm air has to be able to transfer through the ductwork. If your building has more than 10 stories, it can be complicated to use ductwork for conditioned air.
Potential Neglect of the System. Putting your HVAC system on your rooftop means it’ll be out of sight, so it’s possible that the maintenance of your heating and cooling system will be neglected. Like other types of HVAC systems, RTUs also need regular maintenance. When you fail to care for your HVAC system properly, problems may occur frequently, or the system may stop working prematurely. Don’t waste your investment in a good HVAC system. Regardless of the system you install, ensure that it receives proper care and maintenance.
Hire a Qualified HVAC Contractor. Choosing a qualified, trustworthy contractor is especially important for roof-mounted HVAC systems. Make sure the workers are experienced specifically in installing rooftop units, because rooftop environments have special requirements, such as additional safety measures that need to be taken. Working on top of a building involves certain hazards, and the technicians should know the proper way to conduct themselves to avoid accidents and damage to the roofing.
Safety precautions may also vary a little depending on the type of property, so make sure your contractor has the qualifications to do work on a residential or commercial property. Check for any relevant licenses or certifications as well as insurance.
Don’t forget to ask about warranties on the products and guarantees on workmanship as well. You can also opt to hire the same contractor to take care of your HVAC maintenance program. But if you prefer for a different company to handle the maintenance of your heating and cooling system, that’s fine too. Just make sure to weigh your options carefully before signing an agreement.
Get a Free HVAC Consultation Today!
Air Products & Services has been providing top-notch HVAC services since 1979. We offer a full range of services including installations, replacements, repairs, preventive maintenance and more. So whether you need help with a heating repair or troubleshooting your AC system, our qualified technicians will ensure the best service for you. They can also offer their expertise in other areas such as air purification, thermostats and duct replacement. So if you need these additional services for your home or building, be sure to let us know. You can reach us by calling (818) 989-2030 or filling out our contact form. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation, and we’re available to serve customers in Tarzana, CA, and the surrounding areas.