Attic furnace: why would you put a furnace in your attic?

HVAC Logo IconBy HVAC.comAugust 1, 2023
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Attic furnaces are something more homeowners have been considering in both residential and commercial buildings. A furnace is typically installed in the basement, but moving your furnace to the attic or having a furnace installed in your attic can provide greater convenience and safety.

If your attic is fully insulated, installing a furnace in the upper portion of your home may be a good consideration. For many, putting a furnace in the attic may offer more living space and a lower furnace installation cost.

Furnace in attic pros and cons


Installation can be simple: HVAC manufacturers design a wide variety of furnaces to fit all types of homes and living spaces. Being able to place a furnace in the attic is necessary because not everyone has a basement, garage, or functional closet.

For homes and living spaces with attics, modern furnace designs allow you to install them either vertically or horizontally. Horizontal attic furnaces are increasing in popularity because they can be hung on a wall or rafters and are easy to install, especially if you have a decent amount of space.

More affordable installation: A furnace can be ventilated outside much more easily when placed in the attic. Venting the furnace here requires less ductwork than in other areas of the home assuming you do not have a concrete or slab roof. This enables many to save on the cost of furnace installation because less ductwork is necessary.

Saves space: Attics are typically empty with little to no living space. Sometimes this is because the space is too small to make functional, but it could be just big enough for an attic furnace. This could help free up space in a basement or garage if that is where your furnace is currently located.

Less risk from flooding: If your furnace is currently in your basement and your basement floods, there’s a chance the unit could experience damage. It may be necessary to replace a furnace with water damage for your safety. Regardless of the cause of the flooding (rain/snow, sump pump malfunction, natural disaster), with a furnace at ground level or below it creates a hazardous situation. An attic furnace is less susceptible to flood damage.


Can lower efficiency: Heat naturally rises, so a furnace in the attic must push warmth down to the lower levels of your home. With a furnace in the basement, the warm air naturally rises, and this dynamic is more energy efficient.

Out of sight, out of mind: When a furnace or other HVAC system isn’t functioning correctly, the warning signs are often apparent. If you hear unusual and/or squeaking sounds coming from your furnace, it may be time to service the unit. Having a furnace in the attic may make those warning signs or sounds harder to notice. Schedule routine seasonal maintenance for your unit to prevent major damage.

Choose an electric or gas furnace: Install or move a furnace to your attic only if you have measures to detect any issues and proper ventilation in the space. A gas furnace in your attic is just as easy to install as an electric one, just ensure your alarm systems work correctly so you can quickly detect any leaks. When your furnace is in the attic it is out of sight, so small issues will be less obvious.

How much does an attic furnace cost?

The cost of a furnace for your attic is going to vary based on the type of furnace that makes the most sense for your space. Whether you choose horizontal or vertical, gas or electric, every home will have different requirements that make having a furnace in your attic both efficient and functional.

The average cost of a furnace can range from $2,799 – $6,745 and the price will vary based on a number of variables. Check out our furnace cost guide to read about the ones that matter the most.

A good option if you are considering a furnace in your attic is to get one with high efficiency. A high-efficiency furnace in your attic can help balance any decreases observed by trying to move heat against its natural direction throughout the house. High efficiency furnaces require less energy to run than traditional furnaces but can cost up to twice as much.

Attic furnace installation requirements

Installing a furnace in your attic must comply with either local mechanical code or international mechanical code (IMC). Below are some requirements that align with most codes based on regions in the United States.

The passageway to reach a furnace in your attic must have minimum dimensions of 30 inches high, 22 inches wide, and 20 feet max length. The dimensions must be large enough to remove the largest HVAC system or furnace appliance installed in your attic.

How to install a furnace in your attic?

The process for installing a new furnace in your attic or moving a furnace to your attic depends on a number of variables. Your home layout, the size of your attic, and your region’s climate will factor into whether an attic furnace is best for your home.

For assistance with your attic furnace installation or help answering any questions you have related to the installation process please contact us.

How Much Does HVAC Replacement Cost?

Average Cost: $3,250 – $12,586

Like your home and needs, your HVAC project cost will be unique. Use the calculator to better estimate your investment.

*Estimate is based on current data and does not represent a guaranteed price. For accurate pricing contact a local HVAC dealer.

$5,000 – $6,000

Estimated Total

The average cost for a new HVAC system is $3,250 to $12,550, which includes equipment and labor fees for the installation of a central AC unit and gas furnace. The chosen HVAC brand, necessary ductwork repair, and your location will influence the project cost.

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