Furnaces come in two main types depending on the direction of the airflow. An upflow furnace sends the heated air upward while a downflow furnace sends the air downward. Upflow units are popular due to the utilization of heat's natural convection property. Downflow heaters have one key advantage as well as a couple of disadvantages.
If you're a homeowner considering a new furnace, here is a pro and a couple of cons associated with a downflow style furnace. Contact your heating and air-conditioner repair company or a company such as Air Pro Heating & Air for more information.
Pro: Convenient When There's No Basement
Upflow units need to sit below your living spaces so that the heat pushed upward passes through the rooms of your home and finally out through the roof vents in your attic. The upflow unit installs easily in a basement, since the floor can easily support the weight of the unit.
But what if your home doesn't have a basement? Installing an upflow unit in a side room or the attic doesn't provide the intended heating result. This is when you would be wise to switch over to a downflow system, which doesn't require you to have a basement. The downflow does require you to have an attic, but attic space is a more likely architectural addition than a basement, especially in areas like Florida that have a high water table that makes basements impossible.
Con: Difficult Installation
Installation of the downflow system in the attic is a bit more difficult than putting an upflow system on the basement floor. Furnaces have a hefty physical weight that the attic flooring likely wasn't built to support. Your HVAC technician will likely need to add additional bracing in order to support the weight of the unit, and this can drive up your project costs.
Attics also tend to have less space than a basement, so the downflow system could end up eating up a decent amount of your storage space. The bracing could eat up even more of that space.
Con: Less-Efficient Heating
Upflow heaters, as mentioned, utilize heat's natural convection. This setup allows the furnace to run at a lower strength for shorter periods of time, since nature gives the heat a boost in making your home a comfortable temperature. You can avoid overly dry air and higher energy bills by running your furnace for less time.
Downflow furnaces have to fight against the natural power of convection and thus will need to run for longer and push the hot air harder to move against nature's direction.