Residential Rooftop HVAC Units: Worth the Effort?
If it’s time to replace your home’s cooling equipment, you may be intrigued by the idea of installing a rooftop HVAC unit. Rooftop units are most often seen on commercial buildings, but they’re gaining popularity for homes in warmer climates in recent years. If you’re used to a traditional “split system,” you’ll find that rooftop units differ in some key ways:
- Also called “packaged systems,” rooftop HVAC units have all of the necessary system components contained in one outdoor cabinet, including the compressor, condenser and evaporator coils, and air handler. Because of the installation site, the unit is ducted through the attic down into the living space ceilings.
- The commercial buildings where rooftop HVAC is most commonly installed typically have flat roofs that provide the level site and structural durability that’s needed to support these extra-heavy units.
Factors to Consider About Rooftop HVAC Units
With any decision about upgrading equipment, it’s best to consult an experienced HVAC professional. Some of the factors about rooftop units that you should discuss with a pro include:
- If your home doesn’t have a flat roof, a platform will need to be built that can safely support the unit’s heftier weight, and this will add to the installation cost.
- You’ll find that installing a rooftop HVAC unit is more expensive than a traditional split or ductless mini-split system if you currently have central, forced-air HVAC.
- Installing your HVAC components on the roof can be a good option if you have limited space in your home or yard for new equipment.
- A rooftop location will make accessing the unit more difficult/hazardous for an HVAC technician when filter changes, routine maintenance, diagnostics or repairs are needed.
- Because your HVAC components are situated up on the roof, they’re more vulnerable to wear and damage from the elements and severe weather.
- If your home is the only one in the neighborhood with a rooftop HVAC installation, it may make your property less attractive to buyers when you decide to sell.
For expert help choosing the ideal HVAC installtion option for your Orlando home, contact us at Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).