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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    36

    Question Air handler in attic or equip. Room

    New construction home 2000' slab on grade--house to be super tight (ICF) sprayed attic--NO VENTS--HP/ split system, elec. back-up.
    I have heard it both ways--what is the latest opinion on where to put air handler-attic or equip. rm.-for best efficiency?
    thanks, Satester2

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    south louisiana
    Posts
    3,163
    in an unvented attic with foam insulation on the roofline a/c equipment and ductwork in the attic is consitered in a semi-conditioned space.
    while duct leakage should be minimized, the remaining leakage into unvented attic
    makes it semi-conditioned.

    if equipment is in equipment room..I'm guessing that this room would be within the living space..is this correct?
    ductwork would still be in attic.

    if this is the case..I would more than likely put everything in semi-conditioned attic.

    best of luck with your build.
    The cure of the part should not be attempted without the cure of the whole. ~Plato

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    36

    Question attic or equip. rm--air handler

    Quote Originally Posted by energy_rater_La View Post
    in an unvented attic with foam insulation on the roofline a/c equipment and ductwork in the attic is consitered in a semi-conditioned space.
    while duct leakage should be minimized, the remaining leakage into unvented attic
    makes it semi-conditioned.

    if equipment is in equipment room..I'm guessing that this room would be within the living space..is this correct?
    ductwork would still be in attic.

    if this is the case..I would more than likely put everything in semi-conditioned attic.

    best of luck with your build.
    If I were to put air-handler in equip. rm. it would be in the garage--and NOT really a conditioned space--we do live in a mild climate, and not concered with garage freezing.
    I have been told--that air handler in attic, would be more efficient--please some more feedback--

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL
    Posts
    18,836
    Quote Originally Posted by Satester2 View Post
    If I were to put air-handler in equip. rm. it would be in the garage--and NOT really a conditioned space--we do live in a mild climate, and not concered with garage freezing.
    I have been told--that air handler in attic, would be more efficient--please some more feedback--

    The attic will be cooler then the garage,thus a good place for the air handler.

    Water leaks are the only concern,assuming you will have easy access to the air handler.Be sure the condensate drain is done properly,overflow pan under the air handler,and float switch to shut it down if water leaks .

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Naples, Fl
    Posts
    889
    The Reader's Digest version: see post 2 and 4.

    Now get a properly sized, designed, installed, maintained and serviced system (not the Holy Grail but rare non the less) then live happily everafter.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Huntsville,AL
    Posts
    4,125
    where do you live? --- nearest city?
    harvest rainwater,make SHADE,R75/50/30= roof/wall/floor, use HVAC mastic,caulk all wall seams!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    44
    I think you should look at serviceability in your decision making. I find that often systems in attics are unseen and unserviced. Filters not changed as often as they should because going up in the attic is not always that easy. A regularly serviced unit will be more efficient then a non serviced unit. Just some food for thought.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    36
    Quote Originally Posted by cem-bsee View Post
    where do you live? --- nearest city?
    Silver City, NM. 88061

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    south louisiana
    Posts
    3,163
    "If I were to put air-handler in equip. rm. it would be in the garage--and NOT really a conditioned space--we do live in a mild climate, and not concered with garage freezing.
    I have been told--that air handler in attic, would be more efficient--please some more feedback--"

    Ok so put everything in the attic.
    also, make sure that a walkway at least 22" wide is provided to all mechanicals ..this should be code in your area and even if it isn't ..install a walkway. It just makes sense!

    Something I see a lot is refrigerant pipes installed where removal of service panels is
    difficult and servicing unit is difficult (to say the least)
    this may be TMI at this point, but making sure that service panels can easily be removed is also an issue.
    The location/acessability of the filter as kansascity pointed out is very important.

    Start talking to different hvac contractors to see who is willing to properly size
    (load calcs manual J duct sizing manual D and duct design) and install unit & ductwork
    I'll think you'll see that everyone here will agree that this is very important.
    And it may take you a few companies to find someone willing to perform all of these services. You can also hire it out seperately and have hvac companies adhere to the
    sizing with their bids.
    You will need less tons of a/c if home is truly 'tight' and insulation values are continous.

    Keeping yourself educated about good installs of everything from window flashing to location of return air is in your best interest.

    Tell us more..what is your location..what type of heat pump and efficiency of hp are you looking at?

    best of luck with your build.
    The cure of the part should not be attempted without the cure of the whole. ~Plato

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