10 HVAC Tips to Consider for a Mechanical Room and House Design

Throughout the Edmonton area, we see rooms and/or houses designed in a way that doesn’t suit the necessary heating, cooling or indoor air quality equipment.

Design is all about working with the space given to make the most aesthetically pleasing, comfortable and efficient environment to live. However, before an HVAC system can fit into a home and the layout, it’s important to have the knowledge of how they properly function. Things can get a little tricky!

Whether you’re a new home developer or a customer designing your dream home, failing to consider the HVAC needs of your design will only lead to more headaches in the future.

Fear not, Weiss-Johnson is Edmonton’s leader in new home installations, so we have everything you need to know. Here are 10 things to think about when designing a mechanical room and house for an optimal mechanical system:

  1. Put the sump pump under a low-traffic area – We recommend under the electrical panel (you can’t put anything within a meter of it anyways) or under the stairs.
  2. Situate the mechanical room on the garage side of the house – The rooms over the garage have the longest heat runs so it’s best to have them as close to the furnace as possible.
  3. Situate the furnace along the beam whenever possible – This allows the duct lines to be bulk headed in with the beam down the road.
  4. Consider your home and system size – If your top two floors have a combined square footage of over 3000 sq. ft. you may need two furnaces for proper heating and cooling. Click here for a free quote on a system that would best fit your size home.

  5. Locate the mechanical room close to the exterior side yard – Longer furnace and water tank venting, such as in the middle of your home, can force you to upgrade your furnace and water tank to higher end units.
  6. Make sure to have proper ductwork direction and sizing – Ductwork almost always runs the opposite direction of the floor joists so it should be drawn that way whenever possible. The bulkhead is typically 40” wide for homes under 1800 sq. ft. and likely 48”- 56” wide for larger homes.
  7. Open web joists can raise installation costs – Open web joists do not mean that the main duct lines will fit inside them. It’s extremely rare that we are able to fit the proper sized ductwork up inside the open web joist system. Typically, heating systems will cost more with these joists because we also have to close in the sides of the joists when doing the return air system.
  8. Make sure to have proper mechanical wall direction and sizing – Mechanical walls in the main floor need to be in the opposite direction of the floor joists, 2×6 walls minimum.
  9. Accommodate for the new HRV building codes – With the new building code and the addition of ducted HRVs, more main floor walls are often needed to get the HRV runs down into the basement. Mechanical rooms will also need to be increased in size to accommodate the addition of the HRV.
  10. Keep window pockets in the foundation 2 feet off of the beam – This allows the supply duct to run the full distance of the house as there is often heat runs located in the last several joist spaces.

For clarification on any of these tips or for our advice on anything to do with a new home installation and design, contact us here or give us a call at (780) 701-4117.

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