Are you looking to install a rooftop air conditioner?

If yes, you are in the right place. In this article, we look at the good and bad of rooftop air conditioners.

A rooftop AC unit is a self-contained unit installed on top of a residential or commercial building. They are more popular in commercial buildings but not uncommon in residential ones.

call 661-888-0248

Contact 24/7 for air conditioning services!

You can go with an RV air conditioner that cools, heats or does both.

But before you install them, you sure want to know how they function.

What are the pros and cons of rooftop systems?

Are they suitable for your cooling needs?

Before we dive deep into the details, contact us if you need a furnace or AC service Santa Clarita.

Shall we now get down to the rooftop AC unit business? 

What to Consider Before Getting a Rooftop Air Conditioning Unit

The most common option for homeowners is to have their air conditioning unit on ground level.

However, these come with some disadvantages. If you have had enough of your cooling system in the backyard, maybe it is time to get a rooftop air conditioner.

But before you get it, would it be best for you? Or are you better off with a regular outdoor air conditioning unit?

These factors can help you decide if you are destined for a new rooftop air conditioner.

Where is Your Interior System Located?

Typically, exterior HVAC units are located strategically close to the internal AC system.

When getting an RV air conditioner, you must keep this in mind.

The wires and cables connecting the two systems will help maximize energy efficiency if the two systems are close.

If your indoor system is on the first level of your house or the basement, you are better off with a regular exterior AC system. On the other hand, a rooftop AC unit could be the best idea if it is located in the attic or at higher levels of the house.

If you have no interior air conditioner yet, you must pinpoint where to put your indoor air conditioner first. This way, you will be sure what kind of system you will get.

Yard Space Availability

The condenser unit needs to be placed on a flat surface for optimized performance.

In addition, there needs to be enough space for proper air circulation.

Consider a rooftop AC unit if you do not have enough space in your yard.

If you live in the following areas, your air conditioner will better function on the rooftop:

  • sloping or mountainous areas,
  • jagged cliff sides,
  • in commercial areas or metropolitan areas where tall buildings can prevent proper airflow.

Maintenance and Care

If you have an AC rooftop unit, you will likely forget about it until it starts malfunctioning. This is likely to occur unless you frequent your rooftop.

When getting rooftop units, you have to remember to check on them.

When the air conditioner is in the yard, it is easy to spot debris, leaves and rust building up in the system. It is also easy for you to clean it.

The case is not the same for rooftop air conditioners. You likely have to call technicians for AC maintenance services, which makes it more expensive. Schedule an annual time with your local HVAC company and have them check for:

  • rust,
  • chips,
  • cracks,
  • leaks,
  • weird sounds.

This is a great way to take care of your HVAC system, whether on the rooftop or not.


If you live in a hot place, it is evident that you will be using your AC system heavily. And, of course, heavy AC unit use means you will need more maintenance and care for your system. If you fail to take great care of a heavily used system, it will break down and leave you stranded.

If your climate receives lots of heat, hurricanes and storms, you are better off with a regular exterior air conditioner. This way, you and your technicians can easily access the system.

If you live in milder climates, it is safe for you to install AC roof units. 

Benefits of Installing an AC Unit on Your Roof

  • A rooftop AC unit will free your yard. This way, you can use your yard for something else without worrying about obstructing airflow. Also, this is good for aesthetics.
  • Rooftop air conditioners are less noisy. You will not hear their operation from their discrete location. This way, you can have conversations or even work from your patio without taking in the noise. This is one reason to go for a commercial rooftop AC unit in commercial spaces. 
  • A rooftop packaged unit is safe from accidental damage, theft or vandalism.

Drawbacks of Installing an AC Unit on Your Roof

  • It is tough to detect minor issues as the rooftop AC unit is out of sight. When you notice an issue, it will probably be already too big and costly to fix.
  • If you live in areas that experience extremely harsh weather, such as storms and hurricanes, you risk damaging the unit if you install it on the rooftop. With such extremes, you may face issues such as water pooling, leaks and damages. You may have to frequently contact a commercial AC company to fix the mess. You will not face these issues with an AC on the ground level.

How Much Does Installing a Rooftop Air Conditioner?

HomeAdvisor says the cost of installing a rooftop air conditioner costs between $5500 and $11000.

They further note that a ground-level air conditioner will cost approximately $4000.

As you can see, these figures vary widely. It will depend on factors such:

  • the size of the RV air conditioner,
  • Installation cost which may be dependent on hourly rates of installers in your area;
  • Energy efficiency,
  • brand and model of the unit.

Rooftop AC unit installation is more expensive, just like their repairs. For better AC repair Santa Clarita deals, feel free to contact us. 

Rooftop Air Conditioner Frequently Asked Questions

How often Should you service your rooftop air conditioner?

It would be best if you professionally serviced your rooftop air conditioner at least once a year. However, frequently check on the system to ensure it is working well.

How much does a rooftop AC unit cost?

They may cost anything up to $10000(1), depending on several factors. Depending on what you settle for and labor costs, the price may go thousands of dollars higher or lower.

Are rooftop AC units worth it?

If they are installed in mild climates and maintained well, they are great performers.

They will save you the disadvantages of having air conditioners on ground levels, such as noise, vandalism, and poor airflow.

Can you put an air conditioning unit on the roof?

Yes, there are air conditioners designed explicitly for rooftop installation.

It is an excellent idea if you do not have enough ground-level air conditioner space. Also, get a rooftop air conditioner if you would like to free your yard and make it more aesthetically pleasing.

Final Thoughts on Rooftop Air Conditioner

There we go for the analysis of the rooftop air conditioner. If you are considering getting one, we are assured that you know whether to proceed or not.

Not sure yet? If you live in a region that has extremes such as storms and hurricanes, you are better off with a ground-level air conditioner.

However, if you live in a temperate climatic region and would love to boost air circulation of your system, free your yard, or forget about the air conditioning noise, rooftop air conditioners were made for you.Do you have any questions for us or need help selecting a rooftop air conditioner? Contact us today at HVAC Santa Clarita, one of the best HVAC companies in Santa Clarita. We would gladly help get your rooftop AC  unit in great working order.

call 661-888-0248

Contact 24/7 for air conditioning services!

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