As a homeowner, it can seem like professional contractors have it all figured out. After all, they’re the ones we trust to get our projects done correctly and in a timely manner! But that doesn’t mean they don’t argue over some issues in the process. Attic HVAC units are one of those subjects that contractors just can’t seem to agree on. Are they cost-efficient? Bad for energy use? Does it really make a difference at all? Ever wonder why ceiling vents and attic AC ducts are so common? Though ceiling vents are an effective solution in some regards, ceiling ducts can create a host of operational disadvantage.
Why Put An HVAC System In Your Attic
Mainly, it’s a way to save space. Because homeowners and builders are quick to take advantage of available attic space, which is empty, readily available, easy to access, and does not detract from living space, subsequently making ceiling vents the easiest location for delivery.
Because hot air rises, and cool air sinks, ceiling vents are the delivery system of choice for cooled air, particularly in hot, humid climates with a predisposition for cooling. In areas where heating needs predominate, however, the story changes, putting floor vents in the spotlight.
Where storage space is at a premium, ceiling ducts don’t hog existing or potential closet, wall, or ceiling space, especially if putting the unit on the floor isn’t an option. So, putting the unit in the attic seems like a smart, space-saving move. Ceiling vents don’t present the decorative dilemma floor vents often due, forcing furniture to strange locations to prevent blockages in airflow.
However the Question is: Are Ceiling Vents Your Most Effective Option?
If you are trying to heat and cool your home, why place duct work in an area of your home that experiences the most extreme temperatures and suffer the consequences of heat transfer? Avoiding a non-insulated attic is key to the most effective use of ceiling vents.
No matter what kind of HVAC system you have, it’s easy to forget about it until something goes wrong. But if your unit is placed in some forgotten corner of your attic, it’s even more likely that you’ll ignore it—and you may even forego routine maintenance tasks like changing your filters.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory presented evidence against attic ductwork, in a paper pithily titled “Ducts in the Attic? What Were They Thinking?” In it, the authors argue that attic ducts kill home efficiency—they say that studies show a 20 percent energy use increase for homes with attic duct units. Leaky seals in unconditioned, vented attics can effectively turn an efficient 15 SEER unit into a 12, meaning it’s much less efficient. Substantial savings are offered by locating duct work in conditioned space which far outperform other efficiency upgrades.
What To Do If You Already Have An Attic HVAC Unit
Having your HVAC in your attic isn’t dire, though you’ll need to do some work to keep your system running as efficiently as possible. Change your filters regularly. Filters aren’t just some scam invented by the air conditioning industry to keep you spending money! A clogged filter could cause your AC evaporator coil to freeze up, and it might make your furnace or heat pump work overtime—all of which makes your system less efficient and more costly—and your home less comfortable.
Give us a call. Our professional HVAC staff can check out your unit’s insulation and sealing. A well-sealed, properly-insulated unit is a better performing one, so that will certainly help shore up leaks. Having your system checked at least once a year can avoid many problems with your unit. Maintenance is the key to keeping your home comfortable year round.
Make sure to choose your heating and cooling partner wisely. Teegarden HVAC is a knowledgeable, trustworthy, and affordable HVAC company that enjoys and respects customers throughout all of the Greater Cincinnati / Northern Kentucky area.
Contact us (859-635-1658) for a Consultation!
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