Is a Roof or Ground AC Unit Better?

July 5, 2021 8:10 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

When choosing a new air conditioning unit, you have a lot to consider: home size, insulation quality, weather and shade, number of occupants and more. Our clients often ask whether a roof or ground air conditioning unit is better for their homes. The answer depends on a number of different factors—here’s how to tell which HVAC placement is right for you.

What’s most common in your neighborhood?

One great way to get a sense of what might be right for you is to see what your neighbors have chosen. Take a walk or a drive around your neighborhood and look to see if you can spot any air conditioners on the roof. If everyone has their air conditioner on the roof, that might be a good choice for you. It indicates that the air conditioners probably do well with that placement, and your home won’t stand out in a negative way.

If, however, you don’t see any rooftop air conditioners, think twice about choosing rooftop placement. It may affect your curb appeal and home value—or it might be a sign that the weather is too extreme for rooftop AC units.

Do you have adequate space?

The next important factor to consider when determining whether to put an AC unit on the roof or on the ground is space. If your backyard is tiny or cluttered, there may not be enough space to install an AC unit on the ground. Even if the unit itself is small, it still needs to be installed with plenty of “breathing room” around it. That could mean you miss out on your ideal patio and backyard design.

Rooftop air conditioners won’t interfere with the backyard in the same way. Since you probably won’t install anything else on the roof, your AC unit will naturally have plenty of room to suck in or vent air.

Are you in an extreme climate?

If you live in a particularly windy part of town, you might not want to install a rooftop unit. Dirt, sand, gravel and plant debris can enter your air conditioner thanks to high winds. In addition, if your AC is fully exposed to the sun all day long, it won’t run as efficiently as it would if it were shaded and on the ground.

However, when you install a unit on the ground, keep in mind that it needs to be kept clear of leaves and plant debris—and animals are more likely to get in.

Consider maintenance factors

Finally, you should consider the care and maintenance of your air conditioning unit. As you might expect, it’s much easier to care for a ground AC unit rather than a rooftop AC unit. If all the other factors above are equal, you might want to save yourself some hassle and install the unit on the ground. However, when you work with a good HVAC contractor, your AC placement won’t matter as much as if you were doing everything on your own.

Need help choosing the right HVAC placement? Call Cassel Air Conditioning and Heating Service today.

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