The location of your furnace may not seem like something that you need to think about. It is very common to have them in the basement or lower level floor, however, homes can also have furnaces in the attic. There are numerous benefits and some drawbacks to locating the furnace here.
We’re going to look at the pros and cons of having a furnace in the attic so that you can make an informed decision. One of the biggest drivers of where your furnace should be placed is down to the layout of your house. This is certainly not a one size fits all discussion and having professional asses the space in your home is the best place to start.
Is it good or bad to put the furnace in the attic? We have listed seven different pros and cons for placing the furnace in the attic:
Good: A furnace in the attic is a great way to save space
“Furnace in attic good or bad?” is the question often asked if you’re trying to save space in your house. Storage space in your home comes at a premium, the more that you can do to use this space wisely the more freedom you will have within your home. HVAC components can sometimes feel like they are taking over valuable real estate in your home.
For this reason, placing your furnace in your attic may provide you with much more usable space in other areas of your home such as your basement or main floor. Freeing up this space for entertaining can make your home feel much larger.
Good: A furnace in the attic may be cheaper
Depending on the configuration of your home, the furnace installation may be cheaper. It may also be cheaper to maintain and replace the unit if the furnace is stored in the attic. This is because you can easily access the entire unit from the roof. This point of access for installation and removal can often be much more convenient for the engineers installing the furnace.
This is all dependent on the configuration of your home, so be sure to ask a professional for their opinion once they have taken a look around your home. There are always challenges when trying to figure out the best place to install a furnace, make sure that you ask all the questions you can when speaking with a professional about the reasoning behind any recommendation that they make.
Good: You will have the space in the attic
Unless you have a fully finished attic then the installation of a furnace in the attic will not cause you to lose any space or inconvenience you in the slightest. Placing a furnace in the attic allows you to take advantage of space that you would otherwise not be using.
Good: You’ll save money on the furnace installation costs
By purchasing a furnace for installation in your attic you could save a great deal of money on the installation compared with that of an upflow model. By reducing the installation costs you may be able to get a higher tier furnace for the same budget.
The more of your budget that you have going towards the furnace, the longer it will last and it will require less maintenance.
Bad: The unit might be less efficient
The most common reason that furnaces are traditionally placed on lower floors is that warm air rises. This is why it always feels a little cooler in the basement compared to other floors of your house.
There are of course many reasons why an attic furnace makes sense for efficiency reasons due to the layout of your house. Efficiency should be close to the top of your lists of wants when it comes to getting the right furnace for your home.
Bad: You need to keep air ducts immaculate
There will always be some loss of air through the ducts of your home due to small holes and ill-fitting connections between the parts of your HVAC system. Keeping your air ducts clean will help with this and increase efficiency.
As any heat lost will be lost upwards this is less of a concern for basement, or lower floor furnaces as any heat that does escape simply radiates upward into the rest of your home.
Bad: The furnace will likely see less maintenance
Most lower floor furnaces are often also inside storage rooms or visible near washer dryer units. This means that if there are any problems that are noticeable with a quick visual inspection then you will catch them early. Up in the attic, you are much less likely to see any problems before their symptoms show up though a loss in performance.
If you do have a furnace installed into your attic, be sure to schedule regular maintenance checks and stick to it. The last thing that you want is to have to spend a great deal of money fixing a problem that could have been easily avoided.