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New Air Handler to fit in the existing opening.

EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 8,044
Single story home with existing 31 year old air handler in the attic. Time for a new system. Load calculation calls for 39,560 BTU cooling capacity. The existing opening to the attic is 20.5" x 19.5" after I remove the molding. I looked for new air handlers of the 3.5 ton size from Carrier/Bryant/Payne, American Standard/Trane, Rheem/Ruud, and Broan. I did not check the ICP brand names (Heil, ComfortMaker, Tempstar...)

All the 3.5 ton systems have Air Handlers that measure at least 21" on the smallest dimension. This will clearly not fit in the existing opening. When this happens I usually include the cost of cutting a larger opening with a new door panel and some new molding. I'm trying to keep cost down on this job for a friend. Does anyone out there know for a 19"x20" air handler cabinet that will conduct 1300 to 1400 CFM? Any brand any configuration, one piece or modular, coil or no coil, I don't care if it is painted or not?

Will be ordering the equipment next month so if there is a model out there that I can easily obtain in the next 30 days, that would be great.

Edward Young Retired

After you make that expensive repair and you still have the same problem, What will you check next?


  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,699
    I’ve had to strip down new air handlers more than I care to remember. Nothing like squeezing in a collapsed A-coil through a tight hole. The Sheetmetal folds up nice. All the other parts go in. Just the darn coil gets touchy 
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,607
    Goodman is 17.5 x 21 if you can get another 1/2"
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,860
    Remove the evaporator and blower and fold the cabinet.