5 Important Things to Know About Air Handlers

Air handlers work with an air conditioning unit and/or heat pump to circulate air. They help make the system more energy-efficient and generally come in a large rooftop unit. Although, there are different areas in which you may find an air handling unit. It contains a blower, filter racks, cooling or heating elements, dampers, and sound attenuators. Air handlers also connect to the building’s ductwork ventilation system. There are a lot of misconceptions and basic information you need to know about an air handler. Here are the top five important things to know.

1. It’s Not An A/C Unit

The biggest misconception and commonly asked question is the difference between an air conditioner and an air handler. Air handlers are apart of your air conditioning system but aren’t the complete unit. It is responsible for housing the equipment that moves air through the building or space. In most cases, they operate with both heating and cooling systems.

2. There Are 2 Main Components

The two main components of an air handler are the evaporator coils and the fan. The evaporator coils conditions the air. The fan moves the conditioned air through the ductwork. Although there are two main components, it does have other common elements. Air handlers are also comprised of filters, humidifiers, and vibration isolators. Air handlers are often customized for a commercial building.

3. % of Outside Air

As we noted, air handlers can be customized. This also means you can use 100% outside air or a combination of outside and return air. Using recirculated air can be particularly helpful during hot, summer months. It takes less energy to cool existing air than outside air. No matter what you use, it is important to make sure you have the proper filtration and are monitoring your indoor air quality.

4. The Locations May Vary

There are three different areas in which you will find air handling units. This is specific to commercial air handlers. First, the most common is on the rooftop. However, it might also be outside the building, not just on the rooftop. For instance, they can be located behind or on the side of a commercial building. Or, they can also be found in a basement or a maintenance area of your building. The location is really determined by your building layout and climate.

5. Regular Maintenance is Necessary

With all HVAC systems, it is crucial to get regular maintenance. Air handlers not only help your cooling and heating but help maintain indoor air quality. Preventative maintenance checks can help to prevent any issues with IAQ and possible issues that could lead to expensive fixes. Make sure you talk to your HVAC provider or have regular maintenance checks in your facility management processes.

As always, The Severn Group is here to help with any HVAC maintenance or installation need you have. If you have questions about air handlers or any other part of your HVAC unit, contact us today. Also, check out our other education articles on our blog.