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Old 09-16-2009, 07:46 AM   #1
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Hanging heat pump air handler in attic?


Question:
I recently had a water damage problem from the air handler unit of my heat pump in my attic. The unit sits horizontally on the attic rafters. The condensation handling system seems adequate - a primary drain, secondary float switch shut-off and an overall drip pan with separate drain pipe.

An HVAC technician found that the problem was the unit was not level so water was accumulating at the incoming end of the unit, not flowing down the incline to the drain exit. He put a couple of shims under the unit to re-level it which has solved the problem (at least for now).

I suspect part of the real problem is that the unit has vibrated itself into an off-level position. The unit was installed in 2003. After a couple of years we began to notice more vibration noise in the upstairs bedrooms underneath the unit. I don't think it's "excessive" vibration, quite probably just due to normal wear-and-tear as the unit ages (or maybe not??).

I questioned the HVAC tech about ways to better mount the unit to damp out the vibration and maintain its correct leveling. He said his company routinely hangs attic units rather than sitting on the joists.

I've got a quote to suspend the unit. The proposal is to suspend the unit from the rafters using steel angle and threaded rod with "Mason vibration isolation pads" to further reduce vibration.

My questions are:

1) Is this a common and reliable method of attic installation?

2) Is it more likely to remain level this way than sitting on the rafters?

3) Is there a danger of causing other / larger problems by transferring the vibrations up to the roof rafters?

4) Is it likely to reduce the vibration noise in the house?

Any help you can provide to address any or all of these questions would be appreciated.
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Old 09-16-2009, 08:26 AM   #2
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Hanging heat pump air handler in attic?


Yea, I know it's common in certain parts of the country but I'd rip the dam thing out and re-install it in the corner of the garage.

Contractors that place these things in the attic must have some sadistic redire to punish the homeowner and future techs. that have to maintain these systems. It should be against code IMHO.
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Old 09-16-2009, 11:05 AM   #3
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Hanging heat pump air handler in attic?


Quote:
Originally Posted by boiler79 View Post



My questions are:

1) Is this a common and reliable method of attic installation?
Yes

2) Is it more likely to remain level this way than sitting on the rafters?
Yes

3) Is there a danger of causing other / larger problems by transferring the vibrations up to the roof rafters?
Generally no, But they should check your roofs structural integrity first

4) Is it likely to reduce the vibration noise in the house?
Yes

Any help you can provide to address any or all of these questions would be appreciated.
But even suspended. It should be checked annually, to make sure that its still level or slanted properly.

Imbalances should be checked. Could have a missing or loose balancing weight.
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Old 09-16-2009, 04:43 PM   #4
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Hanging heat pump air handler in attic?


The attic unit serves the upstairs because a master bedroom was added above the garage. The original unit is in the basement and now serves only the first floor. Putting the second unit in the garage would have turned the 2-car garage into a single car garage and created a much more difficult ducting arrangement to service the new bedroom. Maybe not the optimal arrangement, but a compromise to make the cost and impact of the addition reasonable.
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Old 09-17-2009, 12:53 AM   #5
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Hanging heat pump air handler in attic?


Quote:
Originally Posted by hennyh View Post
Yea, I know it's common in certain parts of the country but I'd rip the dam thing out and re-install it in the corner of the garage.

Contractors that place these things in the attic must have some sadistic redire to punish the homeowner and future techs. that have to maintain these systems. It should be against code IMHO.
Against code Homey, that's crazy talk!!! I know they can be a pia to service and install. But, in many settings, it is the best way to go for the end user. I understand your sentiments, but, it aint about us.

Just in case you want to know of situations of things were it aint about me?...I will be glad to inform you
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