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Old 05-07-2010, 07:52 AM
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Default A/C air handler on the attic

Could any of the A/C guys explain me this???
We bought a home that has the 2 BIG A$$ main unit on the attic!!!!...

At first I did not thought too much about it, but now (even tough I have not have any trouble with them) I been thinking why in hell they put them up there and how???? The home is from the the 80's, so I do not think that those are the originals. If this is true, they have to have change it some way at some point

The only advantage that I can see is the space saving to rather having it on the garage or in a closet.... but on the other side.. is going to be a pain in the A$$ to the guy that has to service it, and if I ever have to change it I will have to do major remodeling to get it out....

Could somebody tell me where I'm wrong...???
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Old 05-07-2010, 08:04 AM
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I have seen the leave the old units up in the attic when the do changeouts. I have also seen them assemble new units in the attic when they can't fit. I have seen them turn a scuttle into a drop down ladder for more space getting the new ones up there. In so cases when they go, they wet the drywall underneath them to the point that it easier to remove the drywall, install the new unit and then re drywall.

My fatherinlaw recently purchased new construction in Palm Coast, FL. Up there they put a tray sealing in the air handler is comes flush with the regular garage ceiling. I am not sure why the did it the old way like in your home, but I know it was very popular in South Florida, in the 80's and 90's.
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Old 05-07-2010, 10:47 AM
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Doesn't your attic have an access hatch? Most units fit through the standard opening. The coils and fan are easily removed to lighten the lift. Attic installation is very common. The main concern is the condensate drain must have redundancy and a shutdown/alarm in case it becomes clogged.
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Old 05-07-2010, 11:57 AM
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My upstairs air handler is in the attic while the downstairs is under the house. Just had them both changed out (originals installed during new const. in 1994) with no problem. The only minor problem is the upstairs unit is right over my master BR and I am a light sleeper so I sometimes hear the "bump" as it kicks on and off at night.
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Old 05-07-2010, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by itwonder View Post
The main concern is the condensate drain must have redundancy and a shutdown/alarm in case it becomes clogged.
redundancy=overflowing and staining your ceiling around the return vent.
shutdown/alarm=hearing the drips while watching tv and turning the unit off.
the fix=a garden hose stuck up to the 3/4" pvc drain line outside and turn it on full blast for 10-15 sec. ( may require a few tries)
Gotta love the attic air handlers!
just my experience.
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Old 05-07-2010, 01:00 PM
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You mean the air handler thats right next to the hot water heater? The airhandler I understand but who the hell ever thought of putting a hot water in an attic.
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Old 05-07-2010, 02:36 PM
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It's common in older installations to have the air handler in the attic..it was installed BEFORE the sheetrock, and cannot be removed or replaced without disassembling both units. Many attics in Florida are full of old dead air handlers.

Most codes prohibit HWH in an attic UNLESS it has a walkup stair.

Current codes, especially in Florida, pretty much preclude air handlers in unconditioned spaces like an attic, unless it's a garage.
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Old 05-07-2010, 02:53 PM
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You mean the air handler thats right next to the hot water heater? The airhandler I understand but who the hell ever thought of putting a hot water in an attic.
Actually, it makes more sense than the handler.... due to the god awful heat in the attic.
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Old 05-07-2010, 02:56 PM
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I've got my heater in the attic, and it IS more efficient there. All electric heaters are essentially 100% efficient, but the heat loss from the tank makes some less efficient than others. Less temperature differential, less loss. The same applies to air handlers/ductwork in attics.
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Old 05-07-2010, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
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Actually, it makes more sense than the handler.... due to the god awful heat in the attic.

exept for cost,I charge $400 more for an attic change out than a garage.
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Old 05-07-2010, 06:26 PM
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Residential equipment installation location is left up to the contractor. Most would install in an attic if there is plenty of room vs. a crawlspace with 3' height. Every house is a custom install, no 2 alike.
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Old 05-07-2010, 06:36 PM
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I think that like somebody said... it was put up there before the sheet rock...

I'm redoing my CATV cabling and found an old A/C air handling fan up there. At first I was wondering what the heck but then I realize why was still up on the attic.... when I tried to fit it through the attic hatch and would not fit for a good 2 inches...

I hate to have garbage on my attic, and I know that soon I will want to change the units to get something more efficient....

Is it possible to redirect all the conduits, cables, and pipes to somewhere on the garage and some closet????
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The "Ideal Society" is where there's "Maximum Freedom and Responsibility for the Individual". Where people have the right to live their own lives as they see fit as long as they are not hurting anyone else with their Freedom.

Please, ask me who said it.

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Old 05-07-2010, 10:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emudryj View Post
I think that like somebody said... it was put up there before the sheet rock...

I'm redoing my CATV cabling and found an old A/C air handling fan up there. At first I was wondering what the heck but then I realize why was still up on the attic.... when I tried to fit it through the attic hatch and would not fit for a good 2 inches...

I hate to have garbage on my attic, and I know that soon I will want to change the units to get something more efficient....

Is it possible to redirect all the conduits, cables, and pipes to somewhere on the garage and some closet????


What type of low voltage wiring do you do?

David
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Old 05-08-2010, 05:13 AM
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What type of low voltage wiring do you do?

David
except fire alarm... anything and everything.(i think)...access control, paging, speakers intrusion detection, CCTV, CATV, structured cabling, FO, etc...
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The "Ideal Society" is where there's "Maximum Freedom and Responsibility for the Individual". Where people have the right to live their own lives as they see fit as long as they are not hurting anyone else with their Freedom.

Please, ask me who said it.

"Dr. Ron Paul cured my apathy"

Jesus wears a bracelet that says "What Would Ron Paul Do"
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Old 05-08-2010, 05:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cmann View Post
redundancy=overflowing and staining your ceiling around the return vent.
shutdown/alarm=hearing the drips while watching tv and turning the unit off.
the fix=a garden hose stuck up to the 3/4" pvc drain line outside and turn it on full blast for 10-15 sec. ( may require a few tries)
Gotta love the attic air handlers!
just my experience.

Watch out putting alot of pressure on a/c drain lines. you never know if the installer took a holiday when glueing the joints. Could bust one loose in the wall and now you have a leak in a crappy place that often goes unknown. Best idea is to try and shop vac it out, its easy to adapt the vac tube to the drain. Its amazing what 1 atm will do to a slug of condensate drain gunk.





LC

PS- If your HVAC contractor leaves the equipment in the attic they are half assers and you better watch out for problems. Most old equipment is made out of heavier ga. metal but can still be cut up and taken out.

PSS- Most of the time the return grille is larger than the access in older houses. If so check and see if you remove the plenum behind the grill you may have better access. We have done this countless times.
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