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Choosing between an Upflow and Downflow Furnace for Your Home Building Project

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If home builders can learn anything from the winter of 2017-2018, it’s that an effective heating systems is essential for a comfortable home. As temperatures have dropped to record lows around the country, home builders need to be aware that more clients will be interested in the ability of their home’s furnace to keep their family safe and warm, regardless of the weather outside. As a home builder, one of the decisions you have to make is whether an upflow furnace or a downflow furnace is the best choice for your project. In order to figure that out, it’s important to examine some of the distinctions between upflow and downflow furnaces, as well as what they might mean for the heating of the home.

Upflow vs. Downflow Furnaces: The Basic Differences

At the most basic level, there are key differences in the ways that upflow and downflow furnaces heat and distribute air. With an upflow furnace, the air enters the bottom of the unit, is warmed in the heat exchanger, and then is released from the top of the unit into the ductwork of the home. A downflow furnace works in the exact opposite way: the heat enters the unit from the top, gets warmed in the heat exchanger, and then is released from the bottom of the unit into the ductwork of the home. That means that upflow furnaces are typically situated in a basement or crawl-space, while downflow furnaces must be stored in an attic.

Considerations for Different Projects

If you are trying to decide whether an upflow or downflow furnace makes more sense for your project, here are a few things to keep in mind:

 

  • Energy efficiency. Heat rises, so upflow furnaces are often more energy efficient than downflow furnaces. If you’re looking to cut the carbon footprint of your home building project, an upflow furnace can help you reach your efficiency goals.
  • Building and flooring costs. If you’ve already planned a basement for your home building project, this isn’t an issue but if you’re adding a basement or crawl-space to your home building project for the sole purpose of creating a space for an upflow furnace, costs can go up significantly. At the same time, adding reinforced subflooring in the attic for a downflow furnace can also be expensive.
  • Installation challenges. The installation process for downflow furnaces tends to be more difficult, and you have to pay closer attention to building codes requiring reinforced subflooring.
  • Homeowner preference. Some homeowners simply feel more comfortable in rooms where the heat comes below, rather than being dispersed from above. It’s a good idea to check with clients to find out about their preferences.

 

 

As a homebuilder, you can find everything you need to optimize the HVAC systems of all of your at National Air Warehouse. Contact us today for more information!

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