How to Get AC on Roof Without Crane? (Explained)

Installing an air conditioning unit on the roof can be challenging and complicated. But do you need a crane to get the job done? 

Well, you can get the AC unit onto your roof without the hassle of having to rent a crane—all with just some creative thinking and a few extra tools.

This article will provide an easy-to-follow guide on installing your air conditioner without a crane. 

We’ll explain what tools and supplies you need, how to prepare and safely transport the AC unit, and the steps needed to get it up on your roof safely and securely. So let’s get started!

How to Get AC on Roof Without Crane?

Cranes can be expensive for getting an Air Conditioner onto your roof, but there are other ways you can do it. This is excellent news for homeowners who don’t want to splurge on a crane.

There are a few techniques you can use. These techniques involve different risk and cost levels, so make sure you consider all your options carefully before deciding on the best way to get the AC onto your roof without a crane!

Here are three possible methods for accomplishing this task safely:

  1. Ladder Lift – This method uses a ladder with a rope, pulley system, or other tools to create a secure lift straight to the roof. Ensure you have someone on the ground controlling the rope as your AC unit is maneuvered into place.
  1. Staircase Lift – If you have an accessible staircase leading to your roof, you can take advantage of that route by having two or more team members lift the unit each step while carrying it up the staircase. Ensure that each person has proper support, is lifting correctly, and that the AC unit is always securely strapped.
  1. Doorway Lift – If neither of these options works for your situation, using a doorway lift may be your best bet. Securely tie or strap your air conditioner on both sides and slowly lift it up using a rope-and-pulley system or other lifting device. Having one or two people guiding it from the sides helps ensure that it stays upright throughout this maneuver.
  2. Hand Truck: A hand truck will be your best bet when maneuvering the AC unit up and down from your roof. It’s lightweight and easy to use, plus it’ll allow you to control the speed of the lift more quickly than with a crane.
  3. Forklift: A forklift is one of the most accessible and cost-effective ways to lift and place your AC on the roof. It’s also relatively safe and typically able to move up and down, making it easy to pick up the AC and get it into position.
  1. Lifting Straps: Lifting straps are strong straps attached to multiple AC units which can be used to lift and raise them onto your roof without needing a crane or forklift.
  1. Manpower-only: If you don’t have any access to other lifting methods, you can try using your manpower to get the job done — as long as you have several strong people available! The AC should be attached securely with safety harnesses by experts before being raised onto the roof.

Although these methods can seem daunting at first, they are more than doable when appropriately approached with careful planning and execution—so don’t waste another minute worrying about how to get your AC onto your roof without help from a crane!

Pre-Installation Considerations for Installing A/C Units

If you’re looking to install an air conditioning unit on your rooftop without the help of a crane, there are some pre-installation considerations you’ll want to keep in mind. These can help ensure that the process is both safe and successful.

First, think about the structure and size of your roof. Ensure that it can support the weight of the A/C unit and any additional materials you may need for installation. You may also want to look into any municipal restrictions regarding rooftop structures.

Next, consider the tools available for installation, such as ladders, boxes, skylights, stairs, or other items that can help you safely get your A/C unit up on your roof without a crane. 

Ensure that these items are adequately secured and able to handle the weight of your particular AC Unit before attempting to lift it onto your rooftop.

Finally, you’ll want to ensure enough clearance around any obstacles on or near your roof—this will be important when mounting and securing an A/C Unit in place. 

Considering all these factors will help ensure that installing an air conditioning unit on a rooftop without a crane is safe and successful.

Choosing the Right Tools for Lifting the A/C Unit

When getting your air conditioner onto your roof without a crane, the right tools will make all the difference. 

Here are a few of the essential tools you’ll need:


You’ll need a good-quality harness for lifting the AC unit onto your roof. This will help distribute the weight evenly, so you don’t risk causing any damage to yourself or your property. 

Make sure that you’re using a safe and secure harness that’s made for lifting heavy items.

Lifting Straps

You’ll also need some lifting straps to secure your load and keep it in place while you’re lifting it onto your roof. 

Ensure they’re rated for the weight (with the weight of your AC unit taken into consideration) so they don’t slip or break during the lifting procedure.

Finally, make sure that you read through all of the safety instructions before beginning and follow them to ensure a safe and successful outcome. With these tools, you should be ready for almost any job!

Preparing A/C Units and Accessories For Transport

If you’re wondering how to get AC on the roof without a crane, the answer lies in properly preparing the units and accessories for transport. 

Depending on the size, weight, and complexity of the a/C unit, it may be possible to move them without using a crane.

First, you’ll need to prepare the AC units for transport by wrapping them in blankets and securing them with straps. 

This will help protect them from potential damage while they’re being moved. You’ll also need to ensure they’re correctly balanced so they don’t tip over or roll during transit.

Another critical step is making sure that all of the necessary accessories are readily available. This includes chimney caps, condensers, ducts, evaporator coils, and any other components needed for installation. 

All components should be taken off-site together to be easily transported together.

Finally, you should have a lift or hoist available to help facilitate transportation onto the roof. 

While it is possible to use ladders or stairs to get onto a roof without a crane, it can be dangerous and time-consuming — not to mention difficult if you have larger equipment. 

A hoist will make this process much easier and safer while allowing access without a crane.

How to Securely and Lift A/C Unit Onto a Roof

You can get your AC on the roof without a crane, and the good news is it’s not that hard. 

The best way to do this is to secure and lift the a/C unit onto the roof using a combination of straps, pulleys, and ladders. 

Here’s how to do it:

Preparing the Unit

First, you’ll want to ensure the a/C unit is securely fastened on the ground using ropes or straps around each side. 

This will help prevent any slipping or shifting during lifting. Then, use a support system like a pallet jack or cart to ensure it remains steady when you move it around.

Lifting with Pulleys

Once you have secured and prepared your AC unit for lifting, you can start setting up your pulley system. 

Set up two ladders on either side of the roof and connect them with an overhead beam supporting your lifting gear – some rope or chain securely tied around both ladders. 

Use this rope or chain to attach two pulleys – one on each ladder – making sure they are positioned directly above where you’ll be placing the AC unit.

Securing with Straps

Now that your pulley system is in place, it’s time to secure some straps on each side of the AC unit from the bottom of its chassis up through both pulleys until they meet in the middle above your AC unit. 

To lift, get someone to stand at either end of each strap controlling its tension so that as you pull upwards, there’s no danger of buckling or slipping around during lifting.

And voila! It’s as simple.


Installing an air conditioner on a roof without a crane can be a challenge, but with the right planning, proper safety equipment, and help from a few friends, it’s entirely possible. 

Laying out your action plan and doing a few test runs is a great way to ensure the entire process goes as smoothly as possible.

Ultimately, a direct lift is the only way to get an AC unit up on the roof without a crane. This involves hoisting the unit up, with one person on the roof guiding and ensuring the unit is balanced and secure. 

Even with the help of two or more people, this method can be pretty dangerous, so it’s crucial to approach it cautiously. 

However, the right preparation and safety measures are an effective way to get the job done without a crane.

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