Is a Rooftop System Best for Your Building?

Many large commercial buildings use rooftop systems, also called packaged HVAC systems. While common, not all smaller commercial buildings use them. Some still use split systems, which tend to be more common with residential buildings. Essentially the difference between split systems and a rooftop system is in the name. Split systems are just that – split. Half the unit is inside, half of it is outside. Packaged systems are all in one unit. In commercial buildings, they are referred to as rooftop systems, because that is typically where you find them, on the rooftop. No one said HVAC lingo was clever, but at least it makes sense.

If you are a facility manager or property owner that is currently trying to figure out what system makes sense for your building, here are some things you should know.

Advantages of a Rooftop System

When it comes to smaller commercial buildings, some might come with a split system. This might not be the best for your building. Here are some reasons rooftop systems might be a better solution.

  1. More Space – when renting out retail or commercial buildings, space is of the essence. Having a packaged system gives you more interior space as the unit is completely outside. Even more so, having them on your roof allows for future expansion if desired.
  2. Less Noise – again, it is outside. This reduces the noise pollution inside the building. It is a quieter environment for tenants, employees, or customers. Just think of how it sounds when your unit turns on in your house. You can avoid that.
  3. Easy Maintenance – Since everything is already together, it is easy to install, maintain, and perform repairs. You have centralized access. Also, having it on your rooftop minimizes the risk of damage by vandalism or accident.

Rooftop systems are also flexible in design. Let’s talk more about why that is important.

Your System’s Flexibility

All-in-one doesn’t mean one-size-fits-all. Actually, rooftop HVAC systems are quite customizable. They can be installed with air conditioners, heat pumps, humidistats, etc. Packaged units also come in many shapes and sizes. With advances in technology, there are a lot of options available to make them cost and energy-efficient.

This allows you to make the best choice for your building. Rooftop systems are great for larger areas. They can heat or cool a commercial space at a fraction of the cost compared to a split system. This also leaves the question, why even use a split system?

Actually, surprisingly, split systems are the most popular choice for small commercial buildings. They tend to be cheaper to install and are self-contained. Meaning if one breaks down, you still have the others. Still, that is a lot of space to have individual units. This might make more sense if you have multiple tenants or retail spaces within a building that needs to maintain different temperatures.

Should You Get a Rooftop System?

When it comes down to it, it just depends on your needs for the building. Like we said above, if you have a retail space, this might not make sense. With a variety of tenants, that could cause issues with the heating and cooling. However, if you have say, warehouse space or individual buildings, it might be the best fit. If you are not sure, give us a call today. The Severn Group helps design, retrofit, and install all types of HVAC systems. Contact us today to learn more.