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  • Writer's pictureJohn@LiteHouse

What Is A RTU (Rooftop Unit)?

Updated: Aug 22, 2023

The RTU is the most common commercial heating and cooling unit found in the U.S.A. The rooftop unit is sometimes called a package unit because all of its components are contained in one unit.


The RTU is usually a unitary direct expansion (DX) system, which means that the air is cooled by a refrigerant and can be cooled by either a fan or water. Heat is usually supplied by a fuel-fired furnace or by supplemental electric coils located inside the unit.



Commercial HVAC System Inspection




A typical RTU consists of:


  • an evaporator core that absorbs heat;

  • a condenser that releases heat;

  • compressor (the motor compresses the gaseous refrigerant and turns it into a liquid under pressure);

  • blower motor and fan;

  • cooling motor and fan;

  • outdoor air supply;

  • heat source (furnace); and

  • exhaust stack.



The RTU connects to the building's return air and supply ducts.


Advantages of RTU:


  • The RTU usually consumes less power because it is assembled and configured at the factory under optimal conditions.

  • Since the RTU is mounted on the roof, it does not take up any internal space.

  • Installation is usually easier. Only the internal piping needs to be installed separately.

  • Diagnostics and repairs can be easier because all components are in one place.

When you work with LiteHouse Commercial for your Cincinnati commercial property inspection, we will closely inspect all of the property's HVAC systems and report on any defects or need for maintenance.

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