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drewdin 04-11-2013 06:44 PM

Air Handler in the attic Question
There coming monday to install an Air handler in the attic of my house, right now there is no insulation up there.

I know once its installed, there will never be any insulation under it so I plan on buying some along with a sheet of wood and making a platform for it.

Does anyone have any other recommendations? How much should I put there? Should I even do it? Thanks

nealtw 04-12-2013 09:13 AM

A buddy of mine has that, they put it right on the ceiling joists and then put in loose insulation all around it. The insulation gets into the overflow trey and plugs the pipe. It has to be serviced and they have no catwalk to walk on and nowhere to stand when servicing and when they come down thru the closet they bring insulation with them, so they they have to drap plastic over the clothes first.
So I would say yes.

bud16415 04-12-2013 10:19 AM

My suggestion would be talking to them first. That is the guys installing the air handler. They may have a system of mounting it already in the works or then again they might not and welcome your idea.

I think nealtw’s suggestions are all great and a catwalk is very nice to have above your insulation. Depending on how it is framed and where you live the framing might be less than the thickness of insulation you will want and things will have to be framed up.

It’s a good idea just make sure you think it thru till the end first.

CallMeVilla 04-12-2013 04:56 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Rigid insulation is an option below and around the handler in the joist bay. I would certainly provide a plywood platform and plywood from the access to the handler for servicing.

Just got out of an attic electrical install where there was one piece of plywood to slide around so I could work on electrical. It sucked. :p

kok328 04-12-2013 05:05 PM

The contractor should install large drip pan under the unit just in case the condensate pump fails.
Rolled insulation and plywood should be installed for servicing unless you want somebody coming through your ceiling. ;)
CallmeVilla,FYI - that J-box looks overloaded and will need a cover plate installed.

CallMeVilla 04-12-2013 05:11 PM

Hey KOK ... the photo is a real life mess ... the attic I am working on had three more nests like that which were WORSE that I had to clean up. Didn't take a photo yet of the recessed lights with the ROMEX insulation outside the light box and the wires hanging on the sharp edges of the holes without connectors.

Oh, did I mention the back-to-back GFCIs that were in adjoining walls?? :D

drewdin 04-13-2013 10:09 AM

Thanks Guys, I called the contractor and he said that he plans on hanging the AHU from the joists due to the 18" of blown in insulation that will be going in this summer. I like the idea but this also make me nervous, anything I should be aware of with a hovering AHU?

**He did say he was installing a drip pan

GBR 04-14-2013 03:09 PM

As said already, you install a catwalk (per code; width) high enough to get full R-value to the unit from the scuttle hole. Cover exposed Romex within 6' of the attic access from walking on, per code. "Hanging from the joists" or maybe rafters- make sure they add additional vertical supports to a bearing wall below to carry the additional roof loads. Be sure your drywall can carry the additional insulation weight;

And if plaster/lath, the ceiling joists are able to take the weight as they are already at 8#per sq.ft., the extra weight may over-span them.
Air seal the attic now, optimum time- as you will benefit greatly;

Verify the attic ventilation requirements for your location, add more if needed (moisture on framing/exterior ice dams).


drewdin 04-15-2013 04:51 PM

@GBR, awesome tips! Thanks!

drewdin 04-16-2013 02:43 PM

So the Air handler is installed, I have an easy wiring question. The installer told me I needed a disconnect and an outlet per code. Is there a special disconnect I need to mount?I saw there was a 1/2" Knockout that was access to two hot terminals and a ground but no neutral. Does that sound correct? I know I am not in the right section of the forum, i can ask in the electrical section. Thanks

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