“Location, location, location” isn’t just a snappy phrase thrown around by real estate agents — it can apply to things within your own home, too. Where you place appliances can have a significant impact on their usefulness and on your comfort within the home. That’s not just true for where you put your laundry room, but for your heating and cooling systems, too. While basements are a common choice in regions where they’re a standard feature of building design, closets more often take up that role in places such as California. Whether you’re planning for a new system or remodeling your home, you might want to free up that space by moving your furnace or AC somewhere else. Should you consider attic heating and air conditioning units?
At first glance, it can seem like a potentially perfect solution: the attic is out of the way, rarely used for anything besides storage, and is generally easy to access. So, should you immediately call for help from HVAC professionals to start the process of moving and installing your units up in the attic? Maybe — but maybe not. As with everything, there are two sides of the coin to consider here, with both pros and cons to attic HVACs. Before you make a firm decision, consider all the facts and compare them to what you know about your own home.
The Potential Benefits You Can Unlock with an Attic Installation
One of the first perks you’ll notice with attic heating and air conditioning units is that your home becomes much quieter. Without the units running in earshot of everyone downstairs, you can enjoy robust climate control year-round with “whisper quiet” operation — because all the noise is up in the attic. That, plus the added free space that comes with an additional closet, can be a big perk for some families, especially those in smaller spaces where HVAC operation can be quite noisy. Keeping your HVAC unit out of sight can help to foster a more attractive area downstairs, too.
Installation of furnaces and air conditioners into attic spaces is typically less expensive overall, too. There are many aspects of attic units that require less labor; for example, more ductwork can be left exposed if properly installed, which saves many hours on the job. The result is that you save money at the beginning of the project and get to start enjoying your new units sooner.
The Drawbacks Homeowners Should Keep in Mind
One of the first benefits of attic installation is also its first drawback: while quieter operation can be a boon, it also means you’re less likely to hear when something doesn’t work correctly. Unless you make a point of regularly checking the unit, you’ll more likely have to confront a problem after it develops and not before or during. Regular maintenance can mitigate this risk somewhat, though it does require additional vigilance a downstairs unit would not.
Similarly though, attic installations can be cheaper up front, they may cost you in the long run. Why? Attics are often ventilated to the outdoors and are not typically part of the air-conditioned space in the home. As a result, any air leaks here mean the air goes outdoors. That puts a real drag on the efficiency of your unit, whether it’s an air conditioner or a furnace. Exposure to the unconditioned space and its temperature fluctuations can have a negative impact on duct seals, too, hastening efficiency impacts. Contact the experts for more information.
Valley Comfort conducts heating and air conditioning services in the following communities: Santa Rosa, Napa, Rohnert Park, Healdsburg, St Helena, Calistoga and Windsor.