AC Intake Clearance?

awgrimmOctober 26, 2011


I have a question about the amount of clearance need for an AC intake vent. We live in an old home that has been (retro-)fitted with a dual-zone AC system. It's a SpacePak (or similar) with one air-handler in the crawl-space under the family room and the other in the attic. The problem lies with the intake for the lower-level system.

As I said, the air-handler is located under the family room. The intake vent is located in the floor, and it's location makes furniture placement very difficult. Would it be possible to place a sofa OVER that vent if it had longer legs? Obviously, I know that there needs to be sufficient circulation for the unit to operate properly, but I do not know if 3 or 4 inches of clearance would allow the proper circulation.

Thanks for the help,


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How big is the intake?

    Bookmark   October 26, 2011 at 7:05PM
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14 inches by 20 inches.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2011 at 8:41PM
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space paks are in a world all there own when it comes to static pressure. in theory if you allow some clearance you will be ok but i worry if the filter is in that grill are you going to remember to change the filter?

    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 10:16AM
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I change it now, but that is a good point. Out of sight, out of mind.

Thanks for the reply.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 11:27AM
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Anything placed in front of the grill that is closer than the grills larger dimension is going to affect air flow.

A clearance of 2-3 times the large dimension is really needed.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 4:06PM
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