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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    25

    Installing ducts in attics. There's got to be a better way...

    Alright, so the company I work for (ooh yeah entry level helper :P) installs ducts in both the attic and basement. We also install 2 units, one in the basement (if applicable) and one in the attic. Seems logical for a 2 story house, but I've been looking/researching around and have been hearing of how installing ducts in the attic isn't very efficient. We do insulate our ducts with R8 duct wrap, and paint (mastic) the seams where the drives meet. My question is, is there a more efficient way to cool/heat a 2 story house besides putting the unit(s) in the basement and/or attic?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    North Richland Hills, Texas
    Posts
    14,914
    [QUOTE=pmck94;15804281My question is, is there a more efficient way to cool/heat a 2 story house besides putting the unit(s) in the basement and/or attic?[/QUOTE]

    Yes, put all of the air handling equipment and duct system in the conditioned space, or eliminate the ductwork altogether.
    If more government is the answer, then it's a really stupid question.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    So Cal
    Posts
    3,502
    So- the attic is too hot for you to work in?

    Come to California. All our ressy ducts are in the attic & 50% of the furnaces are there too.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Upper Michigan
    Posts
    3,588
    I guess we know the grunt who hangs the duct

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Arnold mo
    Posts
    3,964
    You can have the ducts spray foamed, but the ducts have to be installed in such a manner as to allow for completely foamed all around the duct.
    An answer without a question is meaningless.
    Information without understanding is useless.
    You can lead a horse to water............
    http://www.mohomeenergyaudits.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    25
    No haha I'm not meaning to come off as complaining... aside from the fact that I sometimes feel like Striker from Airplane! when he's landing the plane and he's sweating... I'm just wondering if there is a much more efficient way to go about it. I don't mind the heat of the attic, it's imminent that the attic will be hot; especially during the summer.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Upper Michigan
    Posts
    3,588
    Luckily in Michigan the only thing In attics are dead animals and insulation. I love a good basement

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    25
    Quote Originally Posted by Joehvac25 View Post
    Luckily in Michigan the only thing In attics are dead animals and insulation. I love a good basement
    So if there are no ducts there, I take the ducts are in the basement along with the unit. What if it's a 2 story?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Upper Michigan
    Posts
    3,588
    Quote Originally Posted by pmck94 View Post
    So if there are no ducts there, I take the ducts are in the basement along with the unit. What if it's a 2 story?
    Just run it up through a chase

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    south louisiana
    Posts
    3,164
    I'll be doing the same tomorrow morning. I like to get on the job early
    & finish by noon, going to be 87 tomorrow (not too bad) and better
    yet..overcast. cooler longer...just in case. I can't promise that
    homeowners will be able to as they say.."hang meat" in the
    master suite, but there will be more airflow! and oversized as usual
    there is more than enough capacity.

    personally in my house, I put my ducts in fur downs inside the living
    space. much better than putting ducts in my vented attic
    with R-8, I think I had done the numbers & putting the ducts
    inside the building envelope gave me about a 25% savings.
    my attic has R-30 batts, no ducts & a radiant barrier.the
    radiant barrier works well in hot climates if it is installed
    correctly. the rb reflects heat out of attic, is similar to duct wrap,
    and reflects radiant heat.
    house is laid out so that I could centrally locate ahu closet
    using bottom of closet for return & top of closet short supply plenum.
    ducts serve each room. small house 5 supplies.
    one fur down runs the length of the kitchen, serves kitchen, office & one
    bedroom. second fur down takes the top of the closet to serve living room
    & second bedroom. we even squeezed an april aire dehumidifier in the top
    of the ahu closet!

    I've never done ducts in a basement, seems the looking up would be
    a pain in the neck! but got to be better than lower back pain from
    working in attic with low pitch roof.(cooler too)
    here in south/central La. we don't have basements.

    where are you located? nothing wrong IMO with running ducts,
    unless you do it badly. glad to see that you'll be mastic sealing..
    have fun!
    The cure of the part should not be attempted without the cure of the whole. ~Plato

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Seattle WA
    Posts
    1,239
    My advice to you is to A) Eat you Wheaties. B) Have the job set up to win. C) Start early. And D) Sack up!
    America; first we fight for our freedom,
    then we make laws to take it away.

    -Alfred E Newman

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Keokuk, IA
    Posts
    5,520
    Put the equipment in a basement or utility closet and install ductwork in the 2nd story floor joists. My parents condo in michigan is done this way. No air distribution issues other than the equipment being oversized. SOmetimes supply placement is over thought.

    If you want supplies near the ceiling on the 2nd floor, you can always run duct up the wall cavities and mount wall supplies near the ceiling FWIM. I think register placement get overthought. It's a bigger issue when equipment is oversized and you need improved mixing because of short cycles.

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