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Question DetailsAsked on 7/4/2016

How much does it cost to move a furnace into an attic

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Depends of course on your house configuaration, and especially on the ducting layout (assuming forced air here) - if you mean a hydronic heating (hot water) boiler then hooking it up to the circulatory system is easier - just some modified pipe runs to the loops.

You would need to get several bids from Heating and A/C contractors (your Search the List category), but normally probably $1000-2000 range for a boiler, and I would guess probably closer to the $2000-4000 range for a forced air furnace.

The major problem with forced air furnace is that the upper story is typically at the "end run" of the ducting, so the ducting is smaller there, so you can't just hook the furnace up there4 and expect it to work right - larger main ducting would have to be installed from the furnace to the branches, or install a "ductopus" - a duct octopus, with branches all over the place leading to different rooms and duct brances - can get to be quite a mess and inefficient.

Assuming your attic is unheated, putting the furnace up there (unless you build a utility room for it) will also be less energy efficient - both because it is having to push the hot air down into the house (the opposite way it naturally wants to flow, as hot air rises), the furnace waste heat will be largely lost to the outside air rather than contributing to heating the house, and the operating efficiency may probably go down quite a bit (assuming it currently draws makeup air predominately from the house) because the makeup intake air will be a lot colder in the winter. This efficiency issue varies a lot depending on specific case, because colder circulating air and combustion air means it has to heat it more than it does interior air - BUT if the attic is outside the "conditioned space" than it is not using inside heated air for combustion, so that can reduce the amount of heating needed to maintain the inside air at desired temp - calculations can be madeon which way this will go on the bottom line.

Another factor on "moving" a furnace - depending on your model, it may well not be convertible or the right "flow direction" for attic installation - for instance, a basement or garage-mounted unit will commonly be "ipflow" - the heated air comes out the top - whereas an attic mounted furnace will usually be side vent - the hot air comes out the side so you don't have to run the ducting up out of the furnace, then turn sideways, then down to get it headed back down into the house. Some bottom flow furnaces can be converted to sideways and vcce versa, but I have neer seen a top-flow one that can be converted to a different So - to avoid excdessive ducting and duct flow losses, you might have to change the furnace out.

Also, if an upflow furnace, it may not have a strong enough fan to handle downflow circulation, so you might have to change out the fan/blower unit - just one more thing that can add up to additional cost in "moving" a furnace.

One alternative, assuming you are doing this to gain space downstairs - is consider a small addition of a utility room outside the house - perhaps for both furnace and water heater, connected to the house. Might only then take a bit of utility line reroute and a minor number of feet of flue addition from the current location - depending on your current configuration and on whether the existing flues are in or below the floor joists above the furnace.

One other thought - if your furnace is older, you might want to consider replacing it at this time rather than moving an older unit to the attic and then having to pay to replace it a few years down the road.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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