The Best Roof-Mounted Air Conditioners

What to Look For

Roof-mounted air conditioners offer the best possible cooling capacity. They typically require split-system features, as they cool through ductwork. Air conditioners mounted through the roof are considered convenient due to the fact that they are out of the way of any outside building or home construction and by being on the roof, the noise level is also much lower. When choosing an air conditioner unit, it's essential to look for efficiency and getting a SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) model will help you to use the least amount of energy. Size is also a very important factor, as you must get a unit that provides the right amount of BTU for your home. Lastly, consider the ease of installation, as roof-mounted air conditioners typically require some amount of ductwork.

A man changes the air filter in the air conditioner in the ceiling of his home. (Image: BackyardProduction/iStock/Getty Images)

Common Pitfalls

Some people believe that by purchasing a larger unit than what they really need, the unit will cool more effectively. This is not true at all, as too large of a unit will not remove humidity effectively. Getting the right-sized air conditioner unit is the most important decision you will have to make about this purchase. However, as for those units specifically placed on the roof, the main downfall is the fact that they are the most difficult to service.

Where to Buy

According to Consumer Search both Quality Smith and Sears offer the best prices on air conditioner units. They carry a wide selection of top-quality SEER products to choose from. Both companies also offer free heating and cooling estimates. It's best to compare both products and services through both companies, before choosing which company can offer the best deal for you.


A roof-mounted air conditioning system will typically range anywhere between $1,000 to $6,000. The price depends on the amount of BTU offered and efficiency level. The larger the cooling capacity and higher the energy efficiency rates, the more money you will have to pay. However, keep in mind that SEER units will save you money in the long run, as you will save on the cost of high energy bills.

Insider Tips

Due to the fact that roof-mounted air conditioner units are exposed to direct sunlight, they can overheat, reducing its effectiveness. Therefore, it's best to place them in an area on the roof that gets the most shade and least amount of direct sunlight.

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