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Monday, January 30, 2017

Condensing Furnaces In Attics?

Can you install a condensing furnace(90% + efficiency) in an unconditioned attic?  That is a common question we get here every winter at Environmental Heating & Air.  The short answer is technically yes you can.  But it should be noted that according to most leading HVAC equipment manufacturer installation manuals, it is recommended that condensing furnaces NOT be installed in unconditioned spaces.  The main reason being due to the freezing of condensation produced from normal system operation.  Condensing furnaces are high efficiency furnaces that cause condensation as part of the heating process.  Freezing temps in an unconditioned attic can cause the condensation to freeze, halting system operation, eventually causing the drain pipes to crack, equaling significant water damage to ceilings and/or any drywall.  Which is why a lot of HVAC service companies will not install condensing furnaces in unconditioned attics, it's just not worth the risk.  There are extra steps that can be taken to ensure condensation drain lines will not freeze, but even said steps still run a chance of failure resulting in an expensive situation for the homeowner.

The good news is that with current advancements in HVAC technology, I can't imagine that an unconditioned space compliant condensing furnace is far off.  Manufacturers today are making great strides in furnace efficiency at a very fast pace.  So let's hope more versatile high efficiency furnaces are in our near future!

Environmental Heating & Air of NC

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