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Can/Should Air Handler in unconditioned space be insulated?

K T | Posted in Green Building Techniques on

Hi just wondering, we have R8 insulated ducts in a vented attic, Zone 3, East Coast. The air handler is up there too but does not appear to be insulated. Would there be any benefit to insulating the AHU, and if-so, how?

Also, related, is there any benefit to adding insulation to R8 insulated ducts (they look like puffy fiberglass-wrapped flex-ducts), and if-so how? They are hung too high to bury in the loosefill.


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  1. Expert Member
    Zephyr7 | | #1

    Yes, ideally everything would be insulated, but that’s not always possible with the equipment itself (ventilation openings, clearance requirements, etc). Everything also should be air sealed. Because it can be difficult to be thorough with all this stuff, it’s usually better to just insulate the roofline and bring the attic inside the building envelope so that the leaks and insulation on the ductwork and air handler are less important.


    1. K T | | #2

      thanks! We certainly considered that, and also if there were more space we would've brought the equipment and ducts down. With cost considerations this was the route we took, lotsa air sealing, energy trusses and 17" of loose fill cellulose. We were also nervous about roof deck rot from moisture between the closed-cell and roof.

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