How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
site-built, mobile/manfuactured and modular homes
What is an RTU air conditioner or heat pump?
Tuesday, December 14, 2021
RTU stands for Roof Top Unit. Multiple RTU’s are often used on the roof of commercial building like supermarkets and big box retailers for air conditioning and heating. A simple way to explain one is to compare it to a very large window air conditioner. Everything, both the condenser and air handler, are together in one large, weather-resistant box, with supply and return air duct openings in the bottom.
It is one of three types of “package units.” The other two are horizontal package unit and vertical package unit. A horizontal package unit looks similar to an RTU but has the supply and return duct openings on the side, and is often used at ground level for mobile homes. The vertical package unit (also called a wall mount package unit) is a horizontal one turned on end, and most often seen hanging on the back wall of retail stores in a strip mall.
We rarely see an RTU in residential inspections, and the one shown above is actually a horizontal package unit mounted on a house roof and connected at the side to ducts going into the attic.
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To learn more about heating and air conditioning systems, see these other blog posts:
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