A Rundown About Air Handlers

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HVAC air handlers can be easily mistaken for furnaces; but, they serve twice the function of one. HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. They provide a simplified and convenient way to keep your home to the desired temperature. Your air handler teams up with your AC and heat pump to circulate consistent airflow and comfort.

What Are They?

Air handlers are made of several components. Inside, you’ll find a blower (a motorized fan), an evaporator coil (for heat removal), sound attenuators (to keep your ducts quiet), filters (to catch dust) and more. All of these components are contained in a metal casing, which causes it to resemble a furnace. Together, this conglomeration of parts works with your split-system air conditioner or heat pump (depending on the time of year) to distribute the air through the ducts. If you already have ducts, your HVAC unit can usually connect to them with relative ease, and no additional installation.

When it comes to HVAC units, there is no “one size fits all” option. Different spaces require a different amount of horsepower.

If your house is modestly-sized, you may need a terminal unit. These units may only consist of an air filter, a blower, and a coil. They condition and circulate air from indoors.

If your house is larger, you may be in need of an MAU (Makeup Air Unit). These units take all of their air from the outdoors.

If you’re looking for an HVAC in your place of business, you might want an RTU (Rooftop Unit).

To help find the perfect unit for your space, contact the technicians at AiRCO Mechanical Heating, Cooling & Plumbing. We’ll give you a calculations-based analysis so you’ll get the most efficiency out of your buy.

Should I Buy One?

If you’re looking to heat your house with a conventional furnace, the answer is probably “no.” HVAC units use electric heat pumps to warm your house (they’re often bought together). If you’re interested in this technology, the HVAC unit is the best option for you.

One advantage that these units have over an AC/Furnace combination is their heating coils. When weather is too chilly for air conditioning, but not cold enough to warrant the heat pump, the heating coils provide just the right amount of warmth to keep your house at a reasonable temperature. The heating coils are thought by some to serve the purpose of an electric furnace, but they actually do more.

Air handlers are best suited for moderate to warm climates. This is why they’re generally popular in the south. If you reside in an area where cold climates are practically nonexistent, you should install a split-system AC unit with an outdoor condenser and an air handler.
If you live in a region where temperatures are generally hot, but can be cooler at times, you should get a heat pump with your air handler.

If you live in an area with harsher winters, an air handler isn’t necessary. Instead, you should invest in a furnace.

AiRCO Mechanical in Austin and San Antonio is happy to discuss heating and cooling options with our clients. We want to help you find the perfect fit for your home or office. That way, you’ll have better energy efficiency and your unit will last longer. Call us at 512-537-1234 with any questions, or to schedule an appointment.

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