If you’re looking for heating and cooling services, you may come across confusing, sometimes contradictory information about different HVAC systems. One element that causes plenty of confusion is the air handler. Is this another way to describe an air conditioner? We’re here to help sort this out.
An air handler is the indoor component of some models of HVAC systems. It links to a network of air ducts that distribute conditioned air through the building. Air handlers vary in size, type and capacity, depending on the application.
Some people 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 elements, all of which operate together to condition and circulate the air.
Normally, an air conditioner [shares|uses|utilizes} the furnace’s blower motor, so no air handler is needed. However, in climates where home heating is not something that is necessary, an air conditioner may be the lone HVAC equipment present. In this case, 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} 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 via ductwork. Refrigerant lines connect the air handler to the outdoor condenser, facilitating the heat transfer to the outside. This makes it possible for the air conditioning to uphold a constant, comfy indoor temperature and humidity level.
This is where air handlers are most typically found. In cold climates where heat pumps are less reliable, they are at times installed alongside furnaces, creating what’s called a dual-fuel system. However, advancements in cold-climate heat pumps make dual-fuel systems less prevalent in recent times. Because there is no furnace to lend its blower motor, heat pumps will need a dedicated air handler to circulate conditioned air.
Heat pumps work by pulling heat from the outside air and shifting it inside via the indoor coil. The air handler blows air across the coil to acquire 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 moves it outside, just like an air conditioner.
No. Furnaces are equipped with a blower motor to circulate conditioned air. The blower is typically located inside the furnace. It blows air across the heat exchanger, a metal component that transfers heat from a fuel source to the air blowing past it. The fuel source can be natural gas, propane or oil, which is ignited to generate heat. Once warmed, the air is dispersed back through the ductwork system and inside the building.
The major pieces of an air handler include:
If you’re experiencing issues with your air conditioner, air handler or other HVAC components, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning is here to help out. Our team of talented techs can diagnose and repair any problems with your climate control system, ensuring 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 near you today.
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