What Is An Upflow Style Furnace And When Is The Style The Best Choice For A Home?
When you shop for a new furnace, you might wonder why some units are labeled upflow and others downflow. The flows refer to the directionality of the air leaving the system. So an upflow system pushes the warm air upwards through your home to heat the air during winter and keep you comfortable.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of an upflow style furnace? Here are a few essential details that can help you decide, alongside your heating and cooling services company, whether this is the best type of furnace for your home.
Advantage: Heat Naturally Travels Up
Heat naturally rises due to a process called convection. The air blowing out of your upflow furnace will still have a motorized fan guiding its route through the ducts, but the unit won't have to work as hard to dispense the hot air since warmth wants to travel upwards, anyway.
The lack of heating resistance means you can likely run the heater less often, which can save you on energy costs and on future maintenance costs since there won't be as much operational wear and tear on the heater.
Advantage: Often Easier to Install than Downflow
In order to blow air upwards, the furnace needs to sit below your living spaces, which makes a basement the most common installation location. There are a couple of other added benefits of a basement installation.
Furnace units weigh a lot, and installations can sometimes require the pouring of a concrete slab or the addition of heavy-duty bracing to support the unit. But a basement floor is usually strong enough to hold the furnace already.
The furnace also requires clearance on all sides to allow for air circulation, which helps assist the combustion process that produces the heat. Most basements have sufficient room to install a furnace with clearance without costing you valuable living or storage space.
Disadvantage: Problematic if You Don't Have a Basement
Basements offer several advantages when installing an upflow furnace. But if you lack a basement, those advantages and most of the other advantages of the unit disappear. Your HVAC service could install the upflow furnace in the lower level of your home, but you will likely lose some efficiency and living space in the process.
Unsure of whether or not your house style would facilitate an upflow furnace? Call in a heating and air conditioning services company for a consultation call. If the upflow won't work, you always have the option of installing a downflow unit in the attic, which has its own pros and cons but is certainly better than no furnace at all.