Are you looking to install an attic AC unit? Or do you already have one?
Attic air conditioners have always been controversial; some HVAC contractors and homeowners will swear by them.
On the other hand, some will tell you that they do not make much of a difference.
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If you use your attic space, you want to get an air conditioning unit. Many times, central air conditioning systems do not cover the attics.
However, before you get there, you want to weigh in on different factors:
- What is attic AC unit maintenance like?
- Are attic air conditioners energy efficient?
- Which attic air conditioner is suitable for your cooling needs?
- Above all, is an attic air conditioner worth it?
Keep reading as we plunge deeper into the attic mounted AC unit business.
Why Do You Need an AC Unit for Attic?
You must have seen beautifully remodeled attic spaces. They are now a real thing, not just cute internet photos. Right now, attics are not just mere storage spaces. You can transform the attic into anything you want; a bedroom, home office, studio, library or whatever.
If you are using your attic space, you need an air conditioner. It is not an easy job to cool your attic, so you may have to weigh on possible air conditioners for your attic.
Here are some of the top reasons you should get an AC for your attic:
- An Indoor unit will help you maintain a comfortable temperature when using the attic,
- An air conditioner will help you manage humidity levels in closed-off attics. Attics are more susceptible to warm air and high humidity. This environment is great for mold growth. Getting an AC unit will help regulate the humidity levels in your attic.
- An AC unit prevents hot air transfer to the house’s lower levels. Many times, the attics are not well ventilated and insulated. The area is also most exposed to temperature fluctuations. This makes them hotter than the rest of the house. If you do not cool the warm air there, it will transfer to the lower levels of the house. This will put more strain on your central air conditioning system.
- An AC attic unit is vital in prolonging the lifespan of your roof. It eliminates excess moisture and heat, two things that damage roofs.
If you are looking to condition your attic, get in touch with us for new AC installation Santa Clarita.
Can you Install Central Air Conditioner in Attic?
Installing an air conditioner for cooling just your attic is not usually a problem. For attic cooling, you can quickly go for a:
- window air conditioner,
- portable air conditioner,
- Mini split air conditioner.
The problem arises when you want a central air conditioner that cools the entire house installed in your attic.
The first question is why you want to install an air conditioner in the attic.
Here are the pros and cons of installing central ACs in the attic. We hope these help you decide whether it is worth it or not.
Pro: It Saves on Space
This is one main reason people install central ACs in the attics.
The typical air conditioner today occupies a lot of space. The space the indoor unit occupies could easily be used for something else.
In most cases, the indoor unit is installed in a closet. To save on premium space, putting the indoor unit in the attic would be a great move to help maximize on closet space.
Pro: It is cheap
Attic air conditioners are typically cheaper than installing the system in other parts of the house.
The HVAC contractor does not have to do perfect finishing in the attic. If you do not use your attic for anything else, many HVAC contractors would leave the ductwork loose or exposed on the attic floor. There is no need to wind the ducts through walls and floors. This kind of finishing has advantages, but the key among them is cheaper installation.
Pro: Significantly Reduced Noise
Sometimes the noise from the AC units is just too much. The clanging noises when the AC turns on and off can be very disruptive. As much as it is cooling the house, it can become a big disruption, especially when trying to sleep.
One good way to enjoy the cool air and forget about the annoying noise is to have the unit installed in the attic.
This location is far away from the living space. You will quickly forget about the annoying AC noises.
Pro: Protection From Water Damage
People in subtropical areas would enjoy this benefit of putting their central AC unit in the attic. If your basement floods, you put your AC at a higher risk of damage. Hurricanes and downpours typically make basements flood in subtropical environments.
If your lower floors flood, save your HVAC system from damage and get it installed in the attic.
And it is not just about downpours and hurricanes.
Also, many people have had damaged AC systems thanks to broken pipes or running taps. It doesn’t have to pour heavily to have your houses to flood; such issues can come up and may destroy HVAC systems on the floor.
Such damages may have you searching for “emergency AC repair near me” services.
Pro: Shorter Ducts
Having your HVAC system in the attic will save you on the amount of duct you will use. This essentially makes the installation costs cheaper.
Ideally, vents are best positioned on the higher walls or ceilings. This means the ducts will have to run from wherever to the vents. The distance is shorter if they run from the attic to the ceiling(where the vents are), not from the floor to the ceiling.
If your house has several levels, you will only have to run the ducts through the walls.
That said, it is evident that you will save money in terms of labor, cost of purchasing the ducts, and in the long run, cleaning the ducts.
Also, it is essential to note that shorter ducts are more energy efficient than longer ones. Longer ducts offer more opportunities for conditioned air to escape. If the ducts are shorter, there is lowered opportunity for gaps, hence less chances of air escaping(1).
Con of air conditioning unit in the attic: They are Less Energy Efficient
One of the significant drawbacks of installing the air conditioner in the attic is the reduced energy efficiency.
For starters, it may take a long to detect issues in a central AC in the attic. The attic is isolated and rarely visited in these cases. You may fail to see or hear the system malfunction.
These may throw off your electricity bills without your knowledge.
Secondly, many times the attic is uninsulated and unconditioned This means that a tiny leak can quickly offset the energy efficiency of your system.
To stand in for the improperly ventilated attics, HVAC contractors advise homeowners to insulate the ductwork. This will come at different prices.
Con: Problems Typically Go Undetected
As we have stated, this is one reason behind reduced energy efficiency.
It is easy to forget if you cannot see or hear it. This means that the air conditioners can develop and stay with problems for a long time.
The only time many homeowners remember about it is when the problem is already getting out of hand. Many times, the only option is usually very costly repairs or even AC unit replacement.
Contact us for AC repair Santa Clarita as soon as you notice an issue.
What if you already have an Attic AC Unit?
All people ever talk about is what to consider if you are planning to get new attic air conditioning units.
What if you already have a central air unit in attic? What can you do to make them more efficient? Are there any tips to make them be on their best level?
First, if you have a heat pump, furnace or air conditioner in the attic, you will have to replace or clean the air filters as much as you would for an air conditioner on the lower levels of the house. The exact maintenance applies to heat pump attic systems.
We get it; climbing up there to change the air filters can be hectic, but you have to do it. Clean air filters are the start of an optimal functioning HVAC system.
Secondly, you want an HVAC contractor to annually check the insulation and sealing of your attic air conditioner. Always ensure it is properly insulated and sealed. For starters, this will help detect any leaks faster. It also boosts the energy efficiency of the unit.
Some HVAC contractors recommend building a small insulation box around the unit. This is also a superb way to prevent cooling and heating loss.
Attic AC Unit Frequently Asked Questions
We have covered you below if you are second-guessing your decision about an AC unit in the attic. We answer some FAQs to help you make your final decision.
What is the AC unit located in the attic called?
Typically, the part of the AC unit in the attic is the furnace or the air handler.
Can you install an AC unit in the attic?
Yes, you can put your AC in the attic. This is usually the to-go option if you have no basement. However, putting the AC in the basement or floor sometimes has severe disadvantages. For these reasons, some homeowners and HVAC contractors go for attic air conditioners.
Why do they put AC units in the attic?
For starters, attic AC units are great space savers. They will help free the closet and floor; you can use the freed space for something else. They are also great cost savers as you will use shorter ducts.
Also, they may help you make great use of your attic if you do not already use it.
Finally, they help reduce the noise in the living space. Air conditioners can be noisy, especially when starting or shutting off. Have them far in the attic to reduce the disruption.
Is HVAC in the attic a good idea?
It is for some, and it is not for some. It largely depends on several factors, such as your budget, house design, and your preferences.
Attic AC units will save you mainly on labor and installation costs. Thanks to the shorter ducts, it may also save you money through energy efficiency.
On the other hand, attic AC unit maintenance is not as straightforward. If you are not vigilant with maintenance, you may need frequent emergency furnace repair and AC fixing.
It has two sides to it, depending on how you see it.
How can I keep my attic cool in the summer?
There are multiple ways you can cool your hot attic in summer. If you have an unconditioned attic, consider one of these ways:
- portable air conditioners,
- mini split unit,
- window AC unit
- electric ventilators,
- attic fans
- passive vents such as ridge vents and gables.
Talk to your HVAC contractor to help you select a system with the greatest cooling efficiency because attics can get very hot.
Final Thoughts on Attic AC System
Big up for coming this far; we are coming to an end now.
You can consider several HVAC unit options if you wish to condition your attic. Be sure to have your local HVAC contractor on site to help select what is most suitable for your attic.
If you want to install a central HVAC system in your attic, consider the pros and cons we have discussed above. Analyze all possible options before buying and installing the unit
And finally, if you have an AC attic unit, do not forget about it. Take care of it just like you would for your AC system on your floor space. This is the only sure way to ensure it is always at its best.
As we go, we want to remind you that we are here for you. Contact HVAC Santa Clarita for all your AC unit in the attic questions and needs.
Contact us 24/7 for HVAC services!