When it comes to getting an HVAC system installed, it makes sense that you want to save as much space as possible. This is especially true in the case of a furnace, in our climate—where you’re not going to need the system for the majority of the year. For this reason, many homeowners opt to have their furnace installed in their attic, but should they?
Typically, furnace installations occur in basements or garages if a basement is not available. Of course, either way, taking up too much space can be a huge inconvenience. So, attic installations have become more common. Read on as we uncover why, or why not it’s a good idea to have a furnace installed in your attic.
The Case For Attic Furnace Installation
It Saves Space: Like we already said, many homeowners choose an attic furnace installation to save space. Dedicating an entire closet or corner of the garage to a furnace isn’t an ideal situation, and attics are rarely used for much else than storage.
It’s Relatively Affordable: Did you know that it’s easier to vent a furnace in an attic than it is in any other area of your home? Venting can go directly through the roof rather than being routed through an exterior wall. This also makes air duct installation easier! Easier = more affordable!
All Homes Have Attics: Unless you’re on the lower level of an apartment style home, chances are that you have an attic! As a result, you already know this solution is available to you.
Multiple System Options: You can go gas or electric with your attic furnace installation. Natural gas is cheaper from month-to-month, but many customers opt for electric systems to avoid safety issues (not that gas furnaces are inherently dangerous!)
The Case Against Attic Furnace Installation
Efficiency Can Suffer: Unless you’re getting a furnace with the highest AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) rating available, the efficiency of your furnace can really suffer if the system is in the attic. This is because heat naturally rises, so when your furnace is in the attic, you may need to turn your thermostat up even higher than you normally would to enjoy the heat at the lowest parts of your home.
Your Ducts Can Get Damaged Easier: During summertime, your rooftop gets very hot. Attic fans will help, but if your ductwork is exposed to high heat for too long, it can start accumulating small tears and pinhole leaks. This means that conditioned air will escape from the ductwork, but you’ll still be paying for it. So this goes back to efficiency—your efficiency can suffer.
Problems Can Go Unnoticed: When we tell customers to watch for signs that their furnace is suffering, we say to look, listen, and smell for things like a rattling system, clanging parts, and acrid odors. These are a lot harder to detect if the furnace is in the attic, away from where you can see and hear it easily.