If you’re hunting for heating and cooling services, you may find confusing, sometimes contradictory information about different HVAC systems. One element that creates a lot of confusion is the air handler. Is this the equivalent of an air conditioner? We’re here to set the record straight.
An air handler is the indoor portion of some kinds of HVAC systems. It connects to a network of air ducts that deliver conditioned air through the building. Air handlers range in size, type and capacity, based on the application.
Some individuals use the words “air handler” and “blower” interchangeably, but this is not correct. An air handler is an entire unit containing a blower and a number of other parts, all of which operate together to condition and circulate the air.
Typically, an air conditioner [shares|uses|utilizes} the furnace’s blower motor, so no air handler is required. However, in environments where home heating is not required, an air conditioner may be the lone HVAC equipment present. In this case, the indoor air handler operates along with the outdoor unit, called 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 distribute cooled, dehumidified air back into the building using ductwork. Refrigerant lines link the air handler to the outdoor condenser, enabling the heat transfer to the outside. This enables air conditioning to uphold a constant, comfy indoor temperature and humidity level.
This is where air handlers are most commonly found. In cold climates where heat pumps are less effective, they are sometimes installed alongside furnaces, creating what’s known as a dual-fuel system. However, advancements in cold-climate heat pumps make dual-fuel systems less common these days. With no furnace to lend its blower motor, heat pumps will need a dedicated air handler to circulate conditioned air.
Heat pumps work by removing heat from the outside air and transferring it inside using the indoor coil. The air handler blows air across the coil to obtain heat before circulating it inside the building. A heat pump can even be used for cooling, where it pulls heat from the indoor air and transmits it outside, just like an air conditioner.
No. Furnaces are equipped with a blower motor to move conditioned air. The blower is typically housed inside the furnace. It blows 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, the air circulates back through the ductwork system and inside the building.
The basic parts of an air handler include:
If you’re suffering from issues with your air conditioner, air handler or other HVAC components, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning is here to assist you. Our team of Expert 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 guarantee all repairs with a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee! For more information or to set your home up air conditioning repair in North America, please reach out to a Service Experts office in your neighborhood today.
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