Understanding high-efficiency rooftop air conditioning units

May 22, 2019

Rooftop air conditioning units (RTUs) condition about 60 percent of the U.S. commercial building floor area and consume 4.3 Quads of energy annually, according to U.S. Department of Energy statistics. 

Given the tremendous advances in high-performance RTUs developed in the past five years, facility managers may want to rethink waiting until older RTUs reach the end of their useful service life,  according to an article from Building Operating Management on the FacilitiesNet website. 

According to ASHRAE, most HVAC equipment can be expected to last 15 years. Of course, that assumes regular preventative maintenance is routinely performed and the system has no other issues, such as scarcity of refrigerant. Commercial ductless systems and single or multi-zone commercial RTUs easily achieve this lifespan. In fact, many well-maintained RTUs last 20 years or more. 

The problem is standard RTUs — even some that are less than 10 years old — are significantly less efficient than units developed since 2013 in response to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Advanced RTU Campaign. 

Read the article.

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