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Phil, Mechanical Engineer
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 7542
Experience:  Retired contractor, 51 years experience
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I have a 5 ton Rheem air handler furnace / ac unit in my

Customer Question

I have a 5 ton Rheem air handler furnace / ac unit in my raised ceiling. The main ductwork comes out and go immediately underneath the unit and carries along for the rest of the office area. I would like to raise the ceiling tiles but since the ductwork is right underneath the unit and the tiles are almost touching the ductwork I would like to solution to relocate the ductwork so I can raise the ceiling height.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Home Improvement
Expert:  Phil replied 7 months ago.

Hello, you can use the paper clip icon at the right end of the tool bar to send me as many photo's as possible, preferably with the ceiling tiles removed. and a few shots from 25 feet away so that I can put the entire job into perspective

Customer: replied 7 months ago.

I will be in the office on Monday. In the meanwhile can you provide any suggestions?

Expert:  Phil replied 7 months ago.

Hello again, depending on how much room there is around the back side of the rheem air handler (that is the side without the service doors) we can route the duct in that space... or a space a bit further away if necessary.

Worst case we can make a flat wide duct of the same cross sectional area as the existing duct and fit that (depends on the space limits of course)

We can also split the existing duct into two smaller ones that can then be routed elsewhere.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.

If I wanted to remove the drop ceiling from the office and have it like the picture what material do they apply to the beams and the roof?

Expert:  Phil replied 7 months ago.

Hello again, the material coating the beams and under floor is a spray on fire proof coating. click here please

There are many different brands.


If you have a drop ceiling there will be a messy looking network of flexible air ducts up there, to get it to look like the picture the duct work would have to be redone in 'round spiral duct' any sheet metal contractor can do that for you, cost in the $7,000 to $12,000 range.

Please hold your rating until you get all the data you are looking for.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.

As you can see from the pictures the duct work comes underneath the handler and goes to the right and left to feed the ducts. I would like to possibly have the duct work running parallel to the handlers so I can raise the drop ceiling higher.

Expert:  Phil replied 7 months ago.

Thanks for the photo's

This sort of thing has to be done right in order to get the look you want, in this case all of the work above the existing suspended ceiling was not intended to ever be exposed... there is a lot of random electrical work up there as well that will have to be redone to some extent as well.

I will not know about the viability of such a conversion until I can see what is behind that much older suspended ceiling. I also need to know if this is a one story building or not..(that will affect what insulation might be needed)

Regarding the duct work, if you try to leave a lot of it in place then just add on to it, that will not get the final look you want.

You will need all new duct work. If there is a lot of random 'debris' above that second, much older suspended ceiling, that is resolved by spray painting it all flat black, then hanging the lights lower to show off the duct work.

Let me know if you like to engage me to do some conceptual design for you and put together bid documents... that is a premium service in the under $500 range.

We can go from there

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