Can You Install a Mini Split Condenser on the Roof?

You’ve long since wanted a ductless mini split system for your home. Your current air conditioning system leaves dead spots in the house that get quite hot and humid in the summer. On top of that, your AC uses a lot of energy, which means you pay out the nose on your utility bills.

One of the reasons you haven’t made the switch from traditional HVAC to a ductless mini split system is that you’ve heard you can only mount the outdoor compressor or condenser in your backyard.

Your yard is rather small, and there’s no room for a condenser out there. However, you do have room on the roof. Can you get the mini split technicians to install the condenser up there?

While this sounds like a good idea on paper, it doesn’t work in theory for a variety of reasons.

For one, you’re supposed to safeguard the condenser from the elements as best you can. We recommend selecting a spot for your condenser where it’s under some cover, such as below an awning.

If your condenser is on your roof, it has zero protection from the elements. Inches to feet of snow can accumulate on the condenser. It will get soaked in every rainstorm. Plus, the sun will beat down on the condenser day in and day out.

All this weather exposure can shorten the life of your condenser, which means having to shell out more money for a replacement.

Another reason the condenser can’t go on your roof is that the condenser must be easily accessible to your mini split technician. If the technician has to climb a ladder and walk across your roof to reach the condenser, this makes this job that much harder.

That’s also the case if your mini split ever falters and needs repairs. The labor costs are going to be a lot higher!

You’re supposed to do basic condenser maintenance throughout the year as well, such as cleaning sticks or debris off the exterior and brushing snow off the condenser. You can’t do any of that when the condenser is on the roof.

Plus, the cost of your ductless mini split system might be higher compared to a condenser at ground level. The further away the condenser is from the indoor air-handling units, the more wires and piping required to connect them together. This drives up the cost of installation and maintenance.

Finally, let’s be real, the sight of a condenser up on your roof is going to be an eyesore. It’s just not a good idea overall.

If you’re having a hard time determining where your outdoor condenser should go as part of your ductless mini split system, we recommend talking to a mini split technician. They can recommend a spot that works even if your yard is small or narrow.

You might be able to get the condenser installed on the side of your yard. This is a far more accessible location than up on your roof!