HVAC in Attic, is it a problem?

Old 02-23-16, 07:28 AM
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HVAC in Attic, is it a problem?

Hello, I apologize in advance because I'm not very knowledgeable about these topics...I am just a home buyer desperate to find an objective opinion...

Me and my fiance are getting into contract to purchase a townhouse but someone pointed out o us that the fact that the HVAC is in the attic might pose a problem. Then we started doing some research and found a lot of negative info in the internet, pointing to all the different issues. But, when we talk to people in the area they say it's a common thing and it's not a big deal.
We are on a tight budget and the house is selling "as-is" so we are skeptical whether to proceed with it or not...

I would appreciate any opinions on the matter.

Old 02-23-16, 07:50 AM
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Millions of homes are done that way.
Only issues I've seen is the old drain pans leaking or the condensate line plugging up and causing ceiling damage.
Around here it's code to have an auto shutoff so if that line plugs up it shuts down the HVAC unit.
If your does not have one any HVAC company could add one.
Old 02-23-16, 07:52 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

What kind of negative things are you hearing?

Is the attic insulated? If so, the floor or the ceiling?
Old 02-23-16, 07:59 AM
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Thanks for the responses.

I am not sure if it's insulated, but we are trying to get an expert to come out and do an inspection to see the conditions. What would be the best way: the floor insulated or the ceiling?

The seller did say the unit has a "kill switch" which I assume is an auto shutoff system.

The things I've been reading mostly talk about problems with condensation dripping onto the attic floor, or creating too much heat into the roof, and also lack of energy efficiency...

BTW, unit is old and seller says it will probably will need to be replaced in 3-4 years.
Old 02-23-16, 08:26 AM
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If the unit has a auxiliary drain pan, wet switch (kill switch) and the duct is sealed and insulated Then there should be no issues. These are the same things that should be done to any unit no matter the location. People that have issues with units in an attic normally have something wrong like not having done one of the above things.
Old 02-23-16, 11:24 AM
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Our 1970 home in Michigan has baseboard heat, no ducts of course, so our air conditioning, with all of the ingredients that Joe and airman mentioned, went in the attic about 15 years ago, and no problems to report. The condensate pump on ours makes just enough sound that I can hear it once in a while to know it's running, although I doubt visitors ever do, and I check the line outside once in a while to be sure it's running, but, other than that, I take a look at the unit itself a few times a year, no different than a furnace, water heater, or whatever.

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