The number one reason we get the question of, “Can I install a furnace in my attic” is because the customers asking want to save space. And we get it! It is possible to do this, however, there are a number of factors to consider.
Usually, a furnace is going to be installed in the basement, or garage area if a basement isn’t available. If there’s no garage or too little garage space, that severely limits your options, taking up too much space that would otherwise be usable.
So, attic furnaces started gaining popularity. Whether it’s a good idea for your specific home or not will depend on how you relate to the following pros and cons.
Space Saving: As we mentioned above, many people choose an attic installation for their furnace because of the space-saving features. Having an entire closet or corner of the garage dedicated to a furnace isn’t ideal for anyone, and attics are rarely used for anything more than storing a few things anyway.
Potentially More Affordable Installation: Venting a furnace takes less work in an attic than it does in any other location of the home. Unless you have a slab, venting can go directly through the roof rather than routing it through an exterior wall. This makes ductwork installation easier too—therefore resulting in a more affordable installation.
A Design That Works for All Homes: There is almost no home without an attic. Unless you live in a multi-home complex where the attic is inaccessible to you, this option is very widely available. And since furnaces have a downflow design, this product works in just about any type of home.
Multiple Installation Options: So long as you have proper venting and alarm systems available to detect any leaks, a natural gas furnace can be installed in your attic just as easily as an electric model.
Can Lower Efficiency: We do recommend that if you purchase a furnace for attic installation, that you get one with the highest level of efficiency. Warmer temperatures rise to displace colder air, so you may need to turn your thermostat up even higher to enjoy the heat at the lowest points of your home—this means you aren’t using your furnace as efficiently as possible.
Ductwork Can Suffer: During the summer, rooftops get hot. Attic fans help, but the fact is that your ductwork is exposed to high heat, and therefore can start succumbing to it by accumulating small tears and pinhole leaks. This is a risk for any type of attic insulation of course, but when your furnace is in the attic, it means that ductwork is already getting hot for part of the year.
Problems Can Go Undetected: One of the most common signs of a furnace in disrepair is funny noises coming from the unit. If it’s all the way up in your attic, it can be harder to detect these noises, and therefore harder to know when something is amiss.
Only Trust a Licensed Tech for Installation!
No matter what you choose to do with your furnace—go ahead and have it installed in the attic or installed in another location in your home—you should always only trust a trained and experienced professional for the job. Only they will have the know-how and the skills to make sure that your furnace installation is done in such a way that it is safe, and as efficient as possible.