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Ideal Space for Your HVAC Closet: Do’s and Don’ts You Must Know

By isha.m
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Ideal Space for Your HVAC Closet

HVAC systems have become quite a popular appliance, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. The new buzzword is the HVAC closet.

So, as you are here, let me guess something. You have come across many myths and realities while looking for guidelines and steps for installing an HVAC closet.

I understand your primary concern: determining the ideal space for your HVAC closet.

Well, you will be surprised to know that there are two steps to this concern. Some people are looking for ideas. And others get lost with too much information.

That’s why I am starting this blog with the most important suggestion: Consult the experts and get yourself a licensed installer. But you are here for the overall idea, right? And that is exactly what I got you sorted.

Keep reading to find out!

Key Takeaways:
Ensure proper airflow to your HVAC system. Lack of airflow can lead to overheating, reduced efficiency, and potential damage to the system.
Opt for a location that makes it easy to access your HVAC system for regular maintenance and repairs. A well-placed closet can save you time and money in the long run.
When in doubt, seek the advice of HVAC professionals to ensure your chosen location aligns with industry best practices and standards.

Extra Benefits of HVAC Systems to Know

Besides the airflow control, there are some amazing health and hygiene benefits of the HVAC system. Let’s have a quick look:

Extra Benefits of HVAC Systems to Know
Benefits of HVAC Systems
  • Removes Dust: While ventilating the air, the HVAC system also filters out dust, small particles, and even viruses and bacteria. This way, you are continuously getting filtered and fresh air.
  • Humidity Control: While discussing the benefits of HVAC, US News highlighted the effect of humidity control through HVAC systems in their article.

“Whole-home humidifiers and dehumidifiers can add or remove humidity to keep the dew point of your home at an ideal level. This can make your home feel cooler without having to run a cooling system.”

It is like a cherry on top.

  • Stay Comfy, Stay Safe: These automated airflow control and heat management systems will keep your room’s atmosphere comfortable and clean. Also, it will ensure 100% hygiene by protecting it from harmful particles, bacteria, and viruses.

Understanding the Purpose of an HVAC System Closet

HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning—the trio responsible for your comfort. To be more precise, it’s where the furnace, air conditioner, and ventilation system team up to create the perfect indoor atmosphere.

Why a closet, you ask?

It’s all about efficiency and organization. For example, just imagine, what would happen if heating, AC, and ventilation were scattered across your home.

Complete chaos, right?

The closet keeps them together, working in harmony, ensuring your space is not too hot, not too cold—just right.

  • It helps to prevent extra power waste
  • It controls the whole area/place airflow, heat management, ventilation, and atmosphere through an automated system
  • Ensures the maximum optimization of each piece of equipment
  • Saves you from frequent damage, repair, and system upgrade cost

What Is the Standard Size of an HVAC Unit?

You know what takes you one step ahead before directly jumping into the guidelines. Knowing the what’s, why’s, and how’s.

Choosing the right size is the first step to setting up an HVAC system.

“Installing an incorrectly sized HVAC unit can lead to unwanted burdens.”

Source: Forbes.

For instance,

  • Premature wear and tear
  • Shorter lifespan of the system
  • Increase in energy bills, and
  • Inconsistent temperatures throughout the home during different seasons.

To choose the right size for your HVAC unit, keep the following things in mind:

  • Load Calculation: First things first, your system must be suitable to take the load of the heating and cooling needed for your space and each room.
  • Ductwork Design: The ductwork should be designed in a way that allows proper and balanced airflow to each room.
  • Energy Efficiency: If your HVAC is serving a larger space, then you must go for a high-efficiency HVAC unit to optimize performance.

“Now, the standard way is to multiply the cooling capacity by 25X of the sq ft space it needs to cover. And, according to the experts, one ton of air conditioning removes 12,000 BTUs of heat/hour.”

But don’t worry, the calculations and numbers are for professionals to determine. You are here to first know the conditions, concerns, factors, and safety measures.

What Size Do Professionals Recommend for an Ideal Space for Your HVAC Closet?

If I say it in one word, then there is no fixed size of your HVAC closet.

Well, in that case, what you should do is decide the right size, keeping the following factors in mind.

  • Equipment Types: Your HVAC system must support the combined work of each piece of equipment, such as air conditioning systems heat pumps, furnaces, thermostats, etc.
  • Minimum Clearance Space: You must remember that your HVAC unit will need time-to-time upgrades and repairs. So, keeping this in mind, leave enough space around the HVAC unit in your closet.
  • Building Codes: Don’t forget to go through the building code and maintenance clearance codes while deciding the right size of your HVAC closet.

Can an HVAC Closet be Placed Inside a Bedroom?

Well, here’s a catch. For some reasons, like accessibility or positioning of your bedroom, being in the center may be convincing enough to install an HVAC closet.

Can an HVAC Closet be Placed Inside a Bedroom
HVAC Closet

However, It’s NOT A WISE IDEA!!!

Let me tell you why:

  • Safety comes first: It actually goes against safety hazard concerns to place the HVAC unit inside your bedroom. If there is an incident of gas leak, you’ll be slowly consuming the deadly carbon monoxide gas! Just think about the irony! Putting your life at risk to have a healthy airflow at your house.
  • Goes Against the Safety Code: It is likely to be against your building’s safety code to install an HVAC closet inside your bedroom. And now you know why.
  • Noise: Now, what if you already have a proper ventilation system and have enough protection against the possibility of a gas leak? Still, your bedroom is not an ideal space for your HVAC closet.

After all, the last thing you want is a constant white noise buzzing in your bedroom. Especially when we are in the era of upgrading the system to ensure a comfortable environment.

Considering the Equipment Dimensions

I must say that this is the most important step to ensure maximum efficiency and damage control when installing your HVAC closet properly.

There are various factors to consider, including:

  • The furnace or air handler is the biggest piece of equipment in your HVAC system. So, keep enough space considering the height, width, and depth of this part.
  • Make sure to keep the proper amount of space to connect the outdoor unit of your air conditioner and heat pump to the indoor closet.
  • If you have a water heater and boiler, then keep the dimensions and necessary requirements in mind to support them properly.
  • Be very conscious, from choosing the right size of ducts and pipes to checking, maintaining, and repairing them over time.
  • Make sure that your HVAC installer follows all the installation instructions and general rules. This will maximize the efficiency of your HVAC system, along with setting up the system without causing any damage.

Ventilation and Airflow Considerations

To get quality air, proper ventilation is a must, along with choosing the right size of closet Here’s what to keep in consideration:

Ventilation and Airflow Considerations
Ventilation and Airflow Considerations
  • Make sure that the closet door and walls allow for proper airflow of outgoing and return air. Closet doors and walls should have vents and grilles to help pass air.
  • Install an exhaust fan if you have a large system. This will filter out the warm air. Being careless about this can hinder the smooth outcome of your system.

Accessibility and Maintenance Needs

Your HVAC closet needs proper accessibility and maintenance support. The following things are musts:

  • Keep much space around your system for your HVAC technicians to work and move easily in your closet. Use proper lighting inside the closet walls for the best outcome and to avoid any unwanted risks.
  • Integrate removable panels with your HVAC equipment to make the maintenance process easier.
  • Set up storage spaces like small cabinets and label them to store support tools and spare HVAC equipment.
  • Strictly follow the fire safety measures and keep any sort of flammable stuff away from the closet.

Organizing and Arranging Equipment

  • Place and connect all your equipment for the best collaboration and high performance. Let’s say you have to connect your AC, ducts, and furnace. Now, what will you do? Place them in such a way that the smallest possible unit of pipe has been used.
  • Keep sufficient gaps while setting up the equipment for proper ventilation inside the closet.

Ensuring Safety Measures

Last but not least, you must follow these safety measures to save yourself, your family members, and your system from unexpected damage.

Ensuring Safety Measures
Safety Measures
  • Seal and secure all your equipment properly for best performance and to avoid any damage.
  • Again, don’t make your technicians work hard by keeping a minimum amount of space around the system. Keep the clearance space as spacious as needed.
  • Save your system from overheating by following the ventilation guidelines
  • Always check your equipment. Because you never know what happens just once you get reluctant with the electric stuff.

Wrapping Up

Your HVAC closet might be out of sight, but it’s certainly not out of mind when it comes to maintaining a comfortable home. Now that you have the inside scoop on the ideal space for your HVAC closet. It’s time to get a licensed technician. 

However, make sure to follow the expert recommendations while choosing the equipment, as instructed above. This way, you will have a long-term working HVAC system for your house.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much space is needed around an HVAC system?

The amount of space needed for an HVAC system is variable. It depends on the HVAC equipment it contains and the space that the HVAC is going to support.

Does an HVAC closet need ventilation?

Ventilation is a must for an HVAC closet. After all, proper ventilation maintains the internal airflow. This way, it keeps the HVAC system or any of its equipment safe from quick damage.

How big does an HVAC room need to be?

The size of the HVAC system depends on the equipment and the amount of area it needs to cover. However, it mainly depends on the dimensions of the equipment, like the furnace, heat pump, etc. The best is to consult professionals to decide the accurate size.

How much space is needed for an HVAC air handler?

The size of the HVAC closet for the air handler typically depends on the dimensions of the air handler. However, the smallest size of an AC closet usually starts at 30” W x 50” H x 32” D.