Air Handler from closet to attic: Good idea?

I recently moved to a 2900 sq ft single story home (Southern Cal.) with a 1995 5 ton10 SEER Condenser. The Air Handler - furnace is in a space that was probably the one linen closet. Duct work is in the attic and the master bedroom is farthest from the condenser. I do not obtain good cooling to the master bedroom even with other rooms being very cold, even with register adjustments, and it would be really nice to have a large linen closet. I also like the idea of different temperatures in different areas.
An AC contractor suggested relocation of the unit in the closet to the attic and installation of zoning. I was informed that it could be installed so that filter changes would not be problematic and although the unit would be less accessable, it would not need to be serviced that often. He stated that this would allow me to save on utilities, achieve better and more effective cooling, and have a linen closet. He did not think it was necessary for me to upgrade to a higher SEER unit (he was a Trane contractor) or a second condenser. I plan on being here for awhile. Any thoughts? Good idea? Advice would be greatly appreciated.
Joel
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On 12 Sep 2004 10:29:26 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Joel) wrote:

Here in FL it is very common for the air handler to be in the attic They seem to work fine up there though I sure feel sorry the service guys who have to get up there day in and day out to work on them.
Zoning sounds like a great idea to solve your problem but I sure wouldn't spend all that money to move a ten year old air handler. At that age you have to assume it is at least half way gone if not three quarters. Even if you don't replace the outside unit at this time I would go ahead and replace the air handler.
The a/c guys around here talk about manual j and manual d (i believe) to figure out the system size and duct work size needed. Since your trying to fix an issue seems like it would be a good idea to make sure the contractor is completing these. You wouldn't want to spend a ton of money only to find out the ducts and/or returns were still undersized. Steve B.
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That is not even legal in Florida unless you make a room in the attic for it that is insulated to house standards. It is an energy code regulation. Make your own assumption from that. Attic installed air handlers are energy hogs. You may just need a return in the hot room and a duct work tune up. (fix any leaks).
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There are A/H's that are insulated for attic installations. They do cost more.
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My wife has been out of the HVAC biz for a few years but there were none that met the Fl code when she was. We may have hoptter attics than most folks tho and the AC season is certainly longer.
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On 12 Sep 2004 19:09:17 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Greg) wrote:

I'm not a code expert or even a pro so I don't know the legalities. I do know that all my neighbors have them in the attic and the new neighborhood under construction down the street has them in the attic. None of us have rooms that I have seen. Perhaps my county is behind the times.
Why would the airhandler be an energy hog up there? All the duct work is up there and minimally insulated comapred to the walls and attic. Doesnt seem like it would make much difference if it was in the 100 degree garage or the 120 degree attic.
Steve B.
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(Greg) wrote:

In Arizona, having the air handler, a/c condenser, furnace, etc., installed in the attic is a standard practice and not against any code that I know of. The house we moved from had two such units in the attic, one for the first floor and one for the second floor. The only part of the system not in the attic were the compressors which, of course, were outside.
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Air handlers in the attic used to be the usual here in Florida in the 90s but the code changed,. I will try to track down the specifics
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