Is There a Difference Between a Rooftop AC Unit and a Side Yard Air Conditioner?


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In our area, you may have noticed that air conditioning units are either placed on top of a roof or in the yard, usually a side yard, of a house. While rooftop units may be more common in commercial buildings and side yard units in residential buildings, you will see both types of units in both places. It may have led you to wonder about the differences in these type of air conditioning units and whether one of them is better for your home or business. In this article, we will let you know whether there is a difference between them and what that difference is so that you can make a decision about the best type of system for you.

Rooftop air conditioners use ductwork to direct cool air throughout your house. This is known as central air conditioning. Other than the ductwork, which will generally have parts located inside of the home, all of the components of a rooftop system are on the roof, which can make it easier to access for maintenance and repair. They may also be more efficient systems. Because warm air rises and cool air falls, these systems can use physics to help them distribute air more efficiently throughout a building. All of these features make rooftop air conditioners a smart choice for places like Phoenix and the surrounding areas, where summer temperatures demand a responsive and efficient cooling system. However, many older rooftop air conditioners were large and unattractive, which made home owners shy away from them, resulting in them being primarily used in commercial settings.

Side yard air conditioners also use ductwork to transport cool air throughout the home. These systems, also known as split systems, have some of the components outside, usually in a side yard, while other components are located in the house. This can make service and repair more difficult. However, they are also the standard, especially for residential applications, which means that homeowners have many more options when they are selecting a side yard system. The biggest benefit of this increased selection is size. The size of an air conditioning unit is important, not just in terms of efficiency, but also in terms of overall cooling. Units that are too small or too large can result in air that just does not get cool enough. For many customers, the biggest complaint about side yard systems is that they are noisy, but newer models are considerably quieter than older models.

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