What does an air handler do? Quite simply, it handles your air. But what does that mean? Most AC units, particularly in Florida, are “split” systems, meaning they have units both indoors and outdoors. The air handler is the indoor part of your AC system—and a vital part, at that!
The job of the handler is to circulate the air throughout your home. The indoor air handler unit comprises an air filter, coil, and blower. The handler pulls air in, passes it over the coils (to cool or heat), and then blows it back out into the home through the duct system. Basically, it’s the part of the AC system that ensures the treated air reaches all of your home.
Air Handler Components
The filter is housed between the intake vent and the fan to ensure that the air pulled into the system is purified before being cooled.
The blower fan “blows” all the cooled air back into the home via the ventilation duct system.
The coils are what actually cools the air in your home. This happens when the refrigerant housed in the outside unit is pumped as a high-temperature, high-pressure gas into the inside air handler. There, a valve converts this gas refrigerant to a low-temperature, low-pressure gas that is pumped into the coils. Then, these coils cool the air that is being passed over the coils and into the duct system. The “used” refrigerant is then pumped back outside to the outdoor unit to begin the cycle all over again. In most homes in Florida, the coils are able to heat up as well, providing the “heating” element of your home’s HVAC unit.