If you plan to install an HVAC system in a commercial building, it’s likely that your contractor will recommend rooftop heating and cooling units. But what exactly are they and how do they work?
What is a Rooftop HVAC Unit?
Just as the name suggests, a rooftop HVAC unit or RTU is an HVAC system normally installed on the roof of commercial buildings. It can also be installed at ground level e.g. on a slab. The reason why RTUs are mostly installed on rooftops is to prevent theft and use the ground space for other commercial activities.
Also, most commercial buildings have flat roofs with enough space to have the system installed. RTUs are also known as packaged units since all its HVAC parts are packed in one cabinet together. Rooftop HVAC units are designed to withstand harsh weather conditions such as wind, rain, frost, and sunlight.
How does a rooftop unit work?
A rooftop unit’s function is similar to other types of HVAC systems. It provides comfort to occupants of a commercial building. It’s normally connected to a building’s ductwork, where warm or cool air is then distributed throughout the commercial building’s interior. Here’s what actually happens:
- Air gets into the rooftop unit through air hoods located at its side.
- As the air is passing through, the dampers (or movable plates inside the rooftop unit) control airflow. The air is passed through the filters to eliminate any contaminants.
- Next, depending on the system’s operating mode and configuration, air is either cooled by coils or heated by a heat exchanger.
- Finally, the fan spreads around conditioned air via the ducts of the building.
Why install a rooftop HVAC unit?
- Saves space. A rooftop unit saves space by freeing up the space that would otherwise be used by an indoor HVAC system.
- It’s more secure. Since they are located on rooftops, they are largely protected from vandalism and theft. If they were installed at ground level, they would be easier to access.
- They don’t cause noise problems. Since they are installed on the rooftop and outside, the building occupants can’t be annoyed with their operating noise.
- They are easy to access. Since all their components are housed together, technicians can access them with ease. Repairs and maintenance can be done faster.
Does your rooftop system need servicing or replacement? Contact us at Unique Indoor Comfort for High-Velocity Air Conditioning for professional RTU services or if you need an HVAC contractor in Hinsdale