If you’re hunting for heating and cooling services, you may encounter confusing, sometimes contradictory information about various kinds of HVAC systems. One thing that causes plenty of confusion is the air handler. Is this another way to describe an air conditioner? We’re here to set the record straight.
An air handler is the indoor component of some types of HVAC systems. It hooks up to a network of air ducts that circulate conditioned air all through the building. Air handlers differ in size, type and capacity, depending on the application.
Some people use the words “air handler” and “blower” interchangeably, but this is not accurate. An air handler is an entire unit containing a blower and numerous other parts, all of which work together to condition and circulate the air.
Typically, an air conditioner [shares|uses|utilizes} the furnace’s blower motor, so no air handler is needed. However, in weather where home heating is not something that is necessary, an air conditioner may be the only HVAC equipment present. In this situation, the indoor air handler operates along with the outside unit, referred to as the condenser.
In this setup, the AC unit’s air handler [blows|forces|pushes} indoor air [across|over|along the outside of} the evaporator coil, which absorbs heat and collects moisture, leaving the air handler to deliver cooled, dehumidified air back inside the building using ductwork. Refrigerant lines link the air handler to the outdoor condenser, enabling the heat transfer to the outside. This will permit the air conditioning to preserve a constant, cozy indoor temperature and humidity level.
This is where air handlers are most commonly found. In cold climates where heat pumps are less reliable, they are occasionally installed alongside furnaces, creating what’s referred to as a dual-fuel system. However, advancements in cold-climate heat pumps make dual-fuel systems less prevalent as of late. Because there is no furnace to lend its blower motor, heat pumps require a dedicated air handler to circulate conditioned air.
Heat pumps work by pulling heat from the outside air and moving it inside via the indoor coil. The air handler blows air across the coil to collect heat before circulating it throughout the building. A heat pump can additionally be used for cooling, where it extracts heat from the indoor air and moves it outside, just like an air conditioner.
No. Furnaces are made with a blower motor to move conditioned air. The blower is typically housed in the interior of the furnace. It forces air across the heat exchanger, a metal component that exchanges heat from a fuel source to the air blowing over it. The fuel source can be natural gas, propane or oil, which is ignited to create heat. Once warmed up, the air is distributed back through the ductwork system and inside the building.
The main pieces of an air handler include:
If you’re having issues with your air conditioner, air handler or other HVAC components, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning is here to help out. Our team of Expert professionals can diagnose and repair any problems with your climate control system, so that it runs safely and efficiently. We believe in our excellent work so much that we back every single repair with a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee! For more information or to request air conditioning repair in North America, please reach out to a Service Experts office in your neighborhood today.
© 2023 Service Experts, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, and the Service Experts logo and design are registered trademarks of Service Experts LLC and used under license by SE Canada Inc. All Rights Reserved. *Not applicable to the Advantage Program. See your signed Advantage Program Agreement for full details and exclusions. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee is subject to certain restrictions and limitations as set forth in the applicable Terms and Conditions.