Why Are Air Conditioners on the Roof?

Some air conditioning units are installed in windows, others through exterior walls, while still others are central units that utilize a separate condenser and compressor, found outside on the ground. You find a roof air conditioner, as the name implies, installed on the roof of a building. Different issues lead installers or owners to place the units on the roof.


Sometimes buildings are positioned so closely together that installers place the condensers on the roofs, so that the units don't cross over onto the property of neighbors. For a building with tiny ground space around it, an outdoor unit might simply be too large to fit in the available room. Also, the ground unit might need to be placed directly outside a neighboring building's window, and the sound of the unit powering on and the sound of it running often disturb neighbors. Placed on the roof, the unit is out of anyone's path, with regards to both space and noise.

Eye Appeal

With the outdoor air conditioning unit installed on the roof instead of outside a building, it removes at least one unattractive element from around the structure. This space is now open to be filled with flowers or any other choice of landscaping. Approaching the building, visitors are not met with an outdoor air conditioning unit, which is instead tucked away on an unseen spot on the roof.

Freedom From Vegetation

Condensers placed on the ground outside a building require regular maintenance around the unit, such as trimming the grass and vegetation that grows next to it. If not properly cared for and cut, this vegetation crowds the unit and reduces the airflow around the unit. This reduces the unit's efficiency. The location of roof air conditioners bypasses this issue.

Covers Bigger Areas

A major advantage that rooftop air conditioners provide over air conditioning units installed in a window or wall is the greater amount of indoor space that the rooftop unit serves. Units in a window or wall are room air conditioners and must be sized to cool off one particular room or a small indoor area. Rooftop units service all the rooms and areas inside a building.

Christopher John

Christopher John has been a freelance journalist since 2003. He has written for regional newspapers such as "The Metro Forum" and the "West Tennessee Examiner." John has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Memphis State University.