If you’re looking for heating and cooling services, you may find confusing, sometimes contradictory information about various kinds of HVAC systems. One component that creates quite a bit of confusion is the air handler. Is this the equivalent of an air conditioner? We’re here to clear things up.
What Is an Air Handler?
An air handler is the indoor portion of some models of HVAC systems. It [[connects|links|attaches|hooks up] 11] to a network of air ducts that circulate conditioned air through the building. Air handlers range in size, type and capacity, dependent on the application.
Some consumers use the terms “air handler” and “blower” interchangeably, but this is not right. An air handler is an entire unit containing a blower and a number of other components, all of which function together to condition and circulate the air.
Does an Air Conditioner Use an Air Handler?
Typically, an air conditioner [shares|uses|utilizes]109] the furnace’s blower motor, so no air handler is necessary. However, in environments 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 works along with the outdoors unit, called the condenser. In this setup, the AC unit’s air handler [blows|forces|pushes]110] indoor air [across|over|along the outside of]111] the evaporator coil, which absorbs heat and collects moisture, leaving the air handler to distribute 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, comfy indoor temperature and humidity level.
Does a Heat Pump Use an Air Handler?
This is where air handlers are most frequently found. In cold climates where heat pumps are less reliable, they are at times installed alongside furnaces, creating what’s known as a dual-fuel system. However, advancements in cold-climate heat pumps make dual-fuel systems less typical in recent times. 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 removing heat from the outside air and shifting it inside using the indoor coil. The air handler blows air across the coil to acquire 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 transfers it outside, just like an air conditioner.
Does a Furnace Use an Air Handler?
No. Furnaces come with a blower motor to circulate conditioned air. The blower is most likely housed in the interior of the furnace. It pushes air across the heat exchanger, a metal component that exchanges heat from a fuel source to the air blowing across it. The fuel source can be natural gas, propane or oil, which is ignited to create heat. Once warmed up, the air spreads back through the ductwork system and into the building.
What Are the Parts of an Air Handler?
The [main|major|basic]69] [parts|components|pieces]70] of an air handler include:
- Blower: The blower is a motor-driven fan that circulates air through the ductwork. It forces air across the heating or cooling elements to control the indoor temperature.
- Heating or cooling elements: Based on the type of HVAC system you have installed in your home, the air handler may include heating or cooling elements, including an evaporator coil or backup electric heat strip.
- Air filter: An HVAC air filter removes dust, dirt and other contaminants from the air as it flows into the air handler to be heated or cooled. Air filter types and efficiency ratings vary according to the system requirements. Remember to swap out your air filter on a regular basis to prevent restricting airflow through the system.
- Dampers: Dampers are used to control airflow in structures with zoned heating and cooling. They can be manually or automatically powered to direct air to particular rooms as needed to maintain a comfortable temperature.
- Humidifier or dehumidifier: Some air handlers contain a humidifier or dehumidifier, which manages the indoor relative humidity level. A humidifier puts moisture into the air in the winter, while a dehumidifier gets rid of moisture in the summer.
- Control system: The control system is responsible for regulating the air handler. It might include a thermostat, humidistat or other sensors to keep track of the temperature and humidity in the building.
Schedule Air Conditioner or Air Handler Repair
If you’re experiencing issues with your air conditioner, air handler or other HVAC components, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning is here to assist you. Our team of talented technicians can diagnose and repair any problems with your climate control system, ensuring it runs safely and efficiently. We believe in our exemplary work so much that we back all repairs with a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee! For more information or to request air conditioning repair in North America, please contact a Service Experts office in your area today.