Many Florida homeowners have little knowledge about this essential part of their HVAC equipment. Essentially, air handlers ensure you enjoy high-quality air in your homes by ensuring your HVAC system works more efficiently.
It contributes a lot in ensuring you stand the summer heat which, plus humidity, creates a perfect playground for mold growth.
So, what is an air handler?
As the name suggests, an air handler works with your heating and cooling system to handle your air. It does so by ensuring controlled air circulates throughout your home. The installation often happens in areas of your home without humidity and condensation.
How does it work?
An air handler’s main work is regulating the air temperature before sending it to various duct systems that circulate it throughout your home. It starts by pulling the air that passes through its filters, which trap debris and dirt and the coils before blowing it to your home duct system. By doing so, the air handler ensures you get the freshest indoor air quality.
Components of an air handler
- Air filters: Located between the intake ducting and the fan, it ensures the pulled air is clean before entering your HVAC. That helps protect your system.
- Coils (indoor coils): They contain low-temperature and low-pressure refrigerant gas that cool the air by absorbing excess heat. Once the air cools, it passes over into the duct system. In most homes in Florida, besides cooling, they are also used to heat up.
- Blower: The blower fan circulates the conditioned air via the ventilation duct system.
Is an air handler the same as an air conditioner?
No, an HVAC air handler should not be confused with an air conditioner. Both work together, though each performs its unique functions. Most AC systems you come across in Florida are split systems. The air conditioner is the outdoor part of your HVAC, while the indoor part is the air handler. A refrigerant line connects both systems.
Why is an air handler important to the AC system?
As we have seen, an air handler ensures air circulates through the various parts of your home. Without it or malfunctioned, your HVAC system won’t operate correctly, which may lead to other serious problems. You may even be forced to replace your entire system.
If your air handler wears out, is broken, or you decide to upgrade, make sure the new air conditioner matches the existing system. To ensure your air handler serves you for long, make sure to perform the following AC maintenance regularly:
- Change or clean the filters often.
- Straighten coil fins. They can easily bend, blocking airflow.
- Have your air ducts cleaned.
- Keep the coils cleaned. They collect dirt over time, reducing their ability to absorb heat.
- Have the blower and the fan checked by a professional.
Why should air handlers be replaced?
Old, worn-out, or broken air handlers, just like other HVAC components, don’t perform as well as new ones and should be replaced. Do this as soon as possible to continue enjoying quality air while keeping energy consumption low.
We always recommend having your HVAC system replaced at the same time when replacing your air handler. When replaced together, they offer similar warranties which may help you as a homeowner.
Now that you know how critical an HVAC air handler is, don’t allow it to risk the efficiency of your entire system. Make sure to find a solution as soon as you notice anything abnormal. At American Air Cares, we are always fully equipped and ready to offer a lasting solution to any AC repair problem. Do you have a question, concern, or would you like to talk to one of our experts for more information? We are here to help!