If you’re searching for heating and cooling services, you may encounter confusing, sometimes contradictory information about various kinds of HVAC systems. One element that garners quite a bit of confusion is the air handler. Is this the same as 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 attaches to a network of air ducts that distribute conditioned air inside the building. Air handlers differ in size, type and capacity, based on the application.
Some individuals use the jargon of “air handler” and “blower” interchangeably, but this is not accurate. An air handler is an entire unit containing a blower and several other elements, all of which work together to condition and circulate the air.
Usually, 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 something that is necessary, an air conditioner may be the only HVAC equipment present. In this situation, the indoor air handler works in conjunction 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 deliver cooled, dehumidified air back to 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 maintain a constant, comfortable 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 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 prevalent in recent times. With no furnace to lend its blower motor, heat pumps will need a dedicated air handler to disperse conditioned air.
Heat pumps work by removing heat from the outside air and moving it inside via the indoor coil. The air handler blows air across the coil to acquire heat before circulating it through the building. A heat pump can even be used for cooling, where it retrieves heat from the indoor air and transmits it outside, just like an air conditioner.
No. Furnaces come with a blower motor to circulate conditioned air. The blower is most likely located inside the furnace. It forces air across the heat exchanger, a metal component that moves 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 circulates back through the ductwork system and into the building.
The major parts 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. Our staff of knowledgeable techs can diagnose and repair any problems with your climate control system, so that it runs safely and efficiently. We believe in our exemplary work so much that we guarantee every single repair 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.
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