We live in CT -- so cold winters. I don't know all the right/technical terms, but this is our situation:
- Split level ranch (two floors plus attic)
- Gas furnace and gas water heater in the basement
- Air handler in the attic
- Air condenser thingy outside
- Our attic is not used for anything. We have a few boxes (like 5) and some empty suitcases.
- I am told we have a vented attic -- whatever that means
- There is insulation under the floor of the attic (between the attic and top floor) but very little.
- There is no insulation in the ceiling of the attic between the rafters.
- We have a whole house fan thing. There is a fan on the side of the house in the attic. There is a vent in the ceiling of the upstairs hallway. When it's nice outside, I turn the AC off, open some windows, and turn on the fan. It pulls air in from outside and through the house. It works great. I plan on insulating the vent and putting a box around the fan for the winter when we're not using it.
My understanding is that water/air/something goes from the furnace or air condenser to the air handler which blows hot/cold air to the rest of the house.
So the air handler is exposed to whatever temperature the attic is. I went to the attic right now and it's pretty cold -- cause it is cold outside.
Now, what I am wondering is, should the air handler be in an insulated attic because then it wouldn't have to work so hard? Will the lack of insulation hurt the air handler? Or does it not matter?
- If it is cold outside, then my heat is on, and the air handler would be blowing hot air -- but the attic is cold so the air handler would be surrounded by cold air.
- If it is warm outside, then my AC is on, and the air handler would be blowing cold air -- but the attic is warm so the air handler would be surrounded by hot air.
I'm not worried about insulating the attic. I want to prolong the life of the air handler. So if my setup is not good because the air handler is exposed, then I'd like to know so I can put insulation in the rafters.