Have you heard the HVAC term air handler and wonder what it is exactly? Like the circulatory system in the human body, central heating and cooling systems work by delivering conditioned air through a series of air ducts, providing the optimal level of comfort in every season. Air handling units (AHUs) are at the heart of a forced-air HVAC system, ensuring that the air is distributed at the right temperature, pressure and volume. From large commercial units to room-sized models, the broad selection of air handlers available allows for the ideal choice for every type of installation.
Air Handler Components
Whether it’s a roof-top AHU for an office building or a ductless unit for a residential room addition, every air handler contains a fan or blower driven by a motor. Filters that help cleans the air and protect the equipment are also housed in the AHU cabinet. Heating or cooling elements known as coils are typically located within the unit as well. Supply fans draw the air through the filters and over the coils, and then distribute the conditioned air into ductwork or directly into interiors. Dampers are often included to control outgoing and incoming air streams.
In most residential applications, air conditioning systems are split into two separate units. An outdoor unit holds components that generate heat and noise, including the compressor motor and condenser. The air handler is usually located indoors in a basement, service room or attic. For quiet operation, the AHU cabinet is often fitted with vibration and sound controls that help minimize noise. In homes with central heating systems, the air conditioner’s coils are typically installed within the heater’s AHU so that the AC can share the same air distribution system.
Reflecting the number of advancements in HVAC technology made over the last several decades, today’s AHUs are available with extra features that improve comfort and conserve energy. Air handlers equipped with variable speed blowers, for example, allow for a slower speed of air delivery when heating and cooling demands are low. Some models come with heat recovery devices that save energy by capturing heat from outgoing air to warm incoming air. AHUs with advanced controls help monitor and control humidity levels and indoor air quality.
Climate Design: Your Air Handler Experts
As a leading HVAC provider for thousands of clients in the greater Tampa Bay area, Climate Design is the company to call for air handler installations, repairs and proactive maintenance. To learn more about air distribution systems or to schedule a free consultation, contact the experts at Climate Design today!