Attic HVAC Unit: Where to Place Ducts
LESLIE: John in Tennessee is having a heating issue. What can we help you with today?
JOHN: Yes, ma’am. I’ve got a 30×36 building and a 9-foot ceiling.
JOHN: And I’ve got a gas heat-and-air unit and the people that I bought it from said it was – telling me it was a split unit but it’s not. It’s one that’s in so I’ve got – I go through the ceiling and I’m wondering what would be the best place to locate that unit and how to get that air up to the ceiling; that heat-and-air up through the ceiling and through the ductwork.
TOM: Is this a utility building or is this like a home or what kind of building is this?
JOHN: No, it’s just a – it’s a building; it’s a fellowship hall for a church.
TOM: OK. Alright. So you don’t want to have big, noisy space heaters hanging from the ceiling; you want to permanently heat this, correct?
JOHN: Yeah, that’s right.
TOM: Yeah. Well, you can’t serve your heat from the ceiling; you can’t have ceiling registers because the heat never gets down to the floor. You’re going to have to find places where you can drop supply ducts down from the attic space. Is that where the unit is?
TOM: Yeah. You have to find places where you can drop the ducts down from the attic space and then bring them out near the floor – within a few inches of the floor; and you’ll find another place – which could be in the ceiling – where you pull back the return ducts. If you don’t have good circulation that way, between supply and return, you’ll have a very inefficient and very frustrating heating system.
JOHN: Mm-hmm. OK.
TOM: So, it’s a bit of construction work here to find that but I will tell you that, you know, good HVAC contractors can find ways to do that kind of work with very little disruption. In fact, Leslie just had a lot of duct work put in her old house and you can hardly tell it was there.
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Mm-hmm. Yeah, I mean, it was carefully thought out and very carefully planned; making sure where all of the joists were and which direction they were going in and cleverly running things in between. So, it can be done very tidily with a lot of planning.
JOHN: Yes, ma’am.
TOM: And in our house, we had a duct that needed to run down through a room and there was absolutely no way to get it inside of a wall, so we laid it in a corner and then basically framed over like a 45-degree angle to it and it ended up making the room look kind of cool.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. We actually had to do that.
TOM: (overlapping voices) So there’s always a way to do it.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. We did that in two places in my house and it was very easy; we just built out the wall that it was right next to, so suddenly that bump-out was a little bit bigger than before.
JOHN: Alright. OK. Well, I thank you for taking my call.
TOM: You’re welcome, John.
JOHN: Thank you for the information.