Depending on the age and design of your facility, you may be lucky enough to have a rooftop HVAC unit. Rooftop units (RTUs) have been popular in commercial building design since the early 20th century. Originally built for congested urban areas, they are now the standard for large commercial facilities and modern office spaces. If you don’t have an RTU, you may want to look into upgrade options for the benefit of your building.
While there are no practical objections to having a ground HVAC unit, there are many benefits they simply cannot provide. Your HVAC unit may not seem like the most obvious upgrade for your facility, but it can make a major impact on the safety of your building. Below are just a few reasons why facility managers should look into RTUs when shopping for new HVAC systems:
Unlike ground HVAC systems, RTUs are modular, meaning they can be easily redesigned or added onto as your building grows. If you decide to redesign your facility or add new buildings, it is easier to include new RTUs than it is to redesign a ground unit. If you have an older or historic building with no new construction planned in the future, this may not be a big priority for you. However, if you’re building a new facility, a rooftop unit is much more flexible to its future needs.
A quiet space
Technology advancements have made modern HVAC units much quieter than their predecessors. However, units on the ground will still be somewhat audible through the walls of your facility, and very audible outside. RTUs are far away from your staff and tenants, meaning that the noise produced from your unit won’t be noticeable at all. This is especially important for rental properties and office buildings, where peace and quiet are highly valued.
It probably comes as a surprise to many, but HVAC units are a common target of commercial building vandalism and theft. They are often taken apart at night and sold off in parts for hefty profits. Ground-level HVACs are easy targets; RTUs, on the other hand, are usually left alone because they are so much harder to reach.
More property space
Because they are contained in one unit and located where there are no other building features, RTUs allow you to maximize property space. You can use this space for aesthetic features like landscaping, or for practical features such as increased parking space.
Reduce maintenance costs
Ground HVAC units require more maintenance because they are exposed to dirt and debris from the ground. Ground units can also be damaged due to flooding or heavy rains, whereas rooftop units are protected from most outdoor environments. Because they are better protected, they require less preventative maintenance per module.
The most compelling argument for RTU installation is energy efficiency. RTUs have built-in economizers that make the most of outdoor air conditions and help save on energy. This can cut your power bill tremendously, in addition to the cost savings gained from decreased maintenance needs.
If you’re in the market for an HVAC upgrade, talk to a MaintenX professional find out what’s right for you.