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Old 04-18-2012, 11:14 PM   #1
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Converting Existing Vertical HVAC Air Handler to Horizontal


I'm wondering if anyone would be able to tell me how practical (or at all possible) this task would be.

I have an existing Lennox electric furnace with A/C coil in my 3rd floor attic.

The model numbers on the lower and upper (the electric heat module) components are:

CB9-26-1FFP
ECB9-261-1P

I'm no expert in HVAC matters, but I imagine the only real trouble with turning this unit on its side (with the front access panel either facing up or facing forward) would be how to either modify the existing pan or add a new one on the bottom of whatever configuration I go with.

Does that sound right? Am I asking for trouble? Keep in mind, this is an old unit (though working fine, last I checked -- actually the condenser that goes with this unit is probably only around 10 years old), and my alternative is to probably scrap this whole system, get (I imagine) nothing for it, and have to buy a completely new system that I have a contractor install.

I've attached a few photos to help with the explanation.

If need be I can go into some more detail on this project, but frankly, they're all beside the point -- I'm mostly just wondering about the feasibility of using this existing unit (with all new duct work) in a horizontal configuration.

Thanks.
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Old 04-19-2012, 09:59 PM   #2
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Converting Existing Vertical HVAC Air Handler to Horizontal


Not sure why you'd want to but yes, it can be done. They're referred to as multi-position(al) air handlers.

The pan would need to be a full drain pan, no opening in the middle for air to flow through as is the one you have, and have the drain lines match up to the holes in the cabinet.

Main thing is if you have the bracket to hold the coil in place.

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Old 04-20-2012, 01:43 PM   #3
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Converting Existing Vertical HVAC Air Handler to Horizontal


Thanks for your reply, Doc.

I'll give you a little more detail since you were kind enough to respond.

What we're doing is reconfiguring this unit in our 3rd floor space (currently only serving that floor) to lay on its side so that it can connect to a new duct system we'll build or have installed so it can feed both the 2nd floor below (to help keep it cooler [mostly] in the summer when the existing basement unit doesn't quite get enough cold air up there) *and* the 3rd floor as it's doing now.

The reason to move the unit is due to the configuration of the current ducts, which would be very difficult to tie into to serve the second floor. If we move it, we can run ducts in the 2nd floor ceiling that will more easily and efficiently connect to this unit.

To deal with the possible lack of sufficient capacity (since it was of course just designed for the 3rd floor), and for general spiffiness, I'm planning on doing at least an active two zone (possibly more) system on the ducts.

Now that I've explained that, I have a couple more questions about this drain pan (full pan, no hole cut for air flow, which is was I was figuring). I guess I'd leave the existing pan in place even though it wouldn't catch condensate anymore, but for this new pan -- any idea where I might be able to buy something like that in a size that'll work well for me here? I did a bit of Googling trying to find some before posting and didn't have much luck.

The current pain dimensions are approximately: 19-3/4 x 15".

Another concern I had about this setup (collecting condensate in a rotate configuration for this particular coil) is that I wondered how well this coil would drain turned 90 degrees; it has sheet metal on the right side of it that you can just barely see in one of the photos which I would think might impede things and possibly cause some of the drainage to happen *inside* the coil and thus not get into a new pan. Does that make sense? Might that be a concern in this situation?

Thanks again.
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Old 04-20-2012, 07:33 PM   #4
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Converting Existing Vertical HVAC Air Handler to Horizontal


This pic is of the remains of an Allstyle box coil. You can see the "stains" if you will of the A coil on the inside of the pan. Now this is an entirely individual piece from what your air handler is as yours has the coil inside of one big cabinet with the blower, but this is the best pic I have to show you how a horizontal coil and pan should look. Now on yours the coil will remain in the same position and again, you'd need a bracket that holds the coil in place. That bracket probably came with the original unit and might be in there or discarded since used as an upflow.


If you get the right pan for your unit (best bet would be to track down the manufacturer and make sure that you can use that as a horizontal first and then if so they'll be able to get you a pan but be warned, they are not less than $100. At least last time I was told for myself when I needed a drain pan for a similar situation it was going cost a near $150.00.




Anyways, call the manufacturer, give them the model and serial number to your air handler and they'll tell you for certain if it can be turned horizontally or not and if so, they'll have the pan specific to the unit. No spillage.
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