Roof-mounted AC (Package Unit) vs Split System


When the time comes to retire your old air conditioner, or you’re weighing options for your newly built home, you have a lot to think about when it comes to cooling solutions.  Air conditioning is vital to survive the summer in most parts of the country, but no where is this more true than in the deserts of Arizona.

You know you need air conditioning, but deciding where to put your new air conditioner can be difficult.

Most homeowners have two choices: a roof-mounted air conditioner, or a split system, which is typically installed with the condenser coil outside at ground level and the evaporator coil inside the home.  There’s no significant savings between the equipment needed for a roof-mounted system and a split system, but there are plenty of other things to consider when making the final decision, including:

Care and Maintenance.  Modern air conditioners don’t require the kind of maintenance that swamp coolers need, but they aren’t self-sustaining systems, either.  When your air conditioner is mounted on the roof, it’s easy to neglect its regular care.  As time goes by, the hassle of dragging out the ladder and climbing onto the roof every time there’s a dust storm may get to you, which may result in slowly creeping neglect of your air conditioner and its premature demise.

A ground-installed split system, on the other hand, is easy to access and quick to hit with the hose during Monsoon season.  You’ll have to watch your ground-mounted unit like a hawk, however, because dirt, debris and vegetation can quickly accumulate and disrupt the condenser’s ability to cool.

Aesthetics and Space.  Let’s face it, every decision we make about our homes affects the way the home looks — and looks do matter.  An air conditioner placed in the wrong spot on the ground can stand out and draw attention away from otherwise beautiful features of a house — but so can a roof-mounted unit that’s obtuse and obvious.  Homes with small yards benefit from roof-mounted units, since they won’t take up valuable space on the ground.

If you have the space and a nice, shady spot to install a split system’s condenser unit, a clever landscaper can work this equipment into the overall design scheme.  You’ll have easy access if you stash your unit behind a small fence or a group of tall plants, provided you allow two feet between the unit and its cover.

Security. It’s a sad truth that we have to face — air conditioners contain valuable materials like copper that thieves want.  Thieves have learned over the years how to strip an air conditioner of everything worth anything in no time, but it’s much harder when your A/C is 10 feet off the ground.  If theft is a concern, ground-installed air conditioners may be a bad idea — but if you aren’t sold on a roof-mounted package unit, a cage can be installed to protect your system from theft.

Existing Equipment.  When you’re replacing an existing system, there are additional considerations — the biggest is the setup that’s already in place in your  home to support your old air conditioning unit.  Ductwork can be difficult to install in tight attics or crawlspaces, adding additional expense to your new system.  You may also have to pay for new ductwork when switching between a package and a split system.

When you’re ready to find out exactly what iy will cost to install a package unit or a split air conditioner system, give us a call at Precision Air.  Our helpful customer service professionals are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer your questions and make an appointment for a technician to visit your home and provide a free quote on your new air conditioner.  Just dial 1-602-349-6922 to get started!

Precision January 16, 2018

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