Author Topic: Moving a Furnace into the Attic?  (Read 1975 times)

jane x

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Moving a Furnace into the Attic?
« on: May 27, 2017, 12:04:09 PM »
We recently got our second bid on a new HVAC system and were told that our crawl space is not tall enough to accommodate the larger tubing that is required in new installations.  Our house was built in 1962 and is single level and the crawl space is indeed very confined - about 24-30" tall.  Our existing furnace is in the garage and the HVAC company is recommending moving it to the attic.  They would install a light switch and plywood platform to access the unit for servicing and put all new tubing, return unit and ductwork up there.  The rep said that the install could be accomplished by expanding the access door into the attic from appx 24x24 to 30x30 and that the space to do so is available based on his measurements.

The first company that came out to give a bid did not even look into the crawl space or into the attic.  The sales rep simply gave us a quote to install the system.  They mentioned nothing about the possibility of putting the furnace in the attic. 

DH is concerned about having the unit in the attic for a few reasons - safety (fire and leaks), added weight on the attic joists, having to service the unit when the attic is very hot, difficulty getting to the unit.  And he's not sure that the attic door can be expanded without cutting into support joists, based on his previous inspection.

Has anyone had experience with this type of situation?  Or any knowledge you can share?

Greystache

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Re: Moving a Furnace into the Attic?
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2017, 08:29:48 AM »
I had a furnace/AC unit installed in my attic about 20 years ago. To answer some of your concerns:
1. we have pull-down steps for access to the attic. The unit fit into the opening with no problem.
2. My unit was suspended from the rafters, not set on the ceiling joists. This isolates any noise or vibration from the ceiling.
3. There is a drip pan underneath the unit with a drain to the outside. Never had a leak.
4. Yes it gets hot up there in the summer. Schedule maintenance for the winter. Never had a failure or emergency service required. Filter is accessible from downstairs hallway ceiling.

Fishindude

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Re: Moving a Furnace into the Attic?
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2017, 10:17:53 AM »
I would not recommend an attic installation.  Tough place to access and service.  I'd put it in garage where the original was.   

jane x

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Re: Moving a Furnace into the Attic?
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2017, 11:22:36 AM »
Thanks for the responses Greystache and Fishindude!

I'm going to get a third quote and ask specifically about this issue.  DH is really not wanting to do it.  He confirmed that putting it in the attic means they will need to cut at least 2 supporting joists to get it up there.  And the contractor never mentioned suspending it from the rafters so I'm assuming they would place it on the attic floor.  I read online that an attic install is cheaper than a garage/crawl space one, so this might be a cost saving measure on the contractor's part.  Don't know for sure but will do further research to make sure we're not being lied to.