What Is An Air Handler Unit?


Your Denver home’s HVAC system consists of multiple components that are required to produce conditioned air and deliver that air throughout your residence. While components such as the condenser, compressor and others are fairly well-known, what’s less understood is how these components work together to keep your home comfortable.

The answer is an often-overlooked component known as the air handler. Technically, air handlers are actually units consisting of various other components that your system requires to operate. Gaining a greater knowledge of your system’s air handler will help you better understand your system as a whole.

Electrical Components Only 

An air handler consists only of electrical components. At the same time, an air handler is not a furnace, meaning that even electric furnaces are separate from the air handler unit. An air handler includes the blower fan, evaporator coil and any other electrical accessories to help your HVAC system perform properly.

Your blower fan is what moves the air around your home. It both draws in unconditioned air and moves conditioned air through your home’s ductwork. Your air conditioner uses the evaporator coil to provide cooling and dehumidifying capabilities to help reduce the temperature of the air in your home. It’s important to note that if you have a heat pump, the evaporator coil works in reverse to bring heat into your home from outside. This means that if you have a heat pump, both your heating and your cooling are provided by components within the air handler unit.

Other Important Components 

HVAC systems can include components to assist with other facets of home comfort. To help ensure maximum efficiency, these components are often installed in your system’s air handler unit. Humidifiers, air purifiers, air mixers and dampers to help control the flow of conditioned air can all be found in air handlers. When everything is packaged together, it helps to maintain the air pressure so that the maximum amount of air can be delivered throughout your home.

Maintenance Is Key 

As with other components in your HVAC system, proper maintenance of your air handler is vitally important. Since air handlers contain components that are used throughout the year, the professionals at True Heating & Cooling recommend that you have your air handler maintained twice a year. This maintenance will typically be performed alongside the rest of your system maintenance to ensure your entire system can work together properly.

Maintaining a clean air filter is especially important for your air handler unit. That’s because a lack of airflow due to a dirty filter will have a major impact on the components in the unit, especially the blower fan. Plus, if you run your system with no air filter at all, the evaporator coil located in the air handler will quickly become dirty, resulting in reduced efficiency and diminished performance. As long as you maintain your air handler, though, you can expect it to work without interruption every time you need to adjust the temperature of your home.

How Long Do Air Conditioners Last? 

Given the constant use that an air handler receives, you can expect most air handlers to last around 15 years. However, there are steps you can take to lengthen the lifespan of your air handler.

Proper maintenance is the best way to help your air handler last longer. A well-maintained air handler will experience far less wear and tear, meaning that the smaller components that form the unit will be less likely to fail. Plus, we find at True Heating & Cooling that repairs tend to be less expensive when you can catch problems early.

Another good way to extend the life of your air handler is to find ways to run your HVAC system less often. To do this, you will likely need to improve your home’s efficiency so that the conditioned air from the air handler takes longer to leave your premises. Improving insulation, filling cracks and upgrading your windows are all great ways to make your home more efficient.

You can also install a programmable thermostat so that your HVAC use reflects your daily schedule. Finally, try to turn your thermostat down a degree or two whenever you can in winter, and do the opposite in summer. This small change can greatly reduce the amount of time that your air handler operates.

Trust The HVAC Experts 

At True Heating & Cooling, we’re proud of the expertise we provide our customers to help them improve their comfort at home. Whether you need maintenance, repairs or installation for your furnace or air conditioner, we can take care of you anywhere in the Denver Metropolitan area. We can also handle indoor air quality needs and carbon monoxide prevention. Our five-star customer reviews speak to the level of our dedication. To learn more about your HVAC system, contact us at True Heating & Cooling in Broomfield today.