What Is An Air Handler, Anyway?

Did you know that air-conditioners are responsible for approximately 6% of all electricity produced in the US?

Given the warm weather climates in many areas of the United States, the statistic may not be too surprising. However, many people may not know about another alternative called an air handler.

What is an air handler unit? An air handling unit provides a unique way to explore alternative heating and cooling options using specialized coolant coils.

In this article, we will walk you through everything you need to know about what is an air handler and whether installing an air handler unit in your home is right for you.

What is an Air Handling Unit?

An air handler is also known as a fan coil unit. Essentially, it’s a special box that looks like a furnace. Inside, it has an air blower in it.

These air blowers can have different speeds or the speed can be predefined by the manufacturer. The air handler will also have a coil used for evaporation, as well as a special package with included heat strips. Some air handling units also come with specialized air filters as a component of the unit.

The homeowner will place the air handler inside the home just like any other furnace. Technically, a furnace is a type of air handler. The only difference is that it won’t produce hot air in the wintertime.

The overall unit will produce heat in a similar manner to a toaster. Just as how the metal heat strips and a toaster will warm air coming through, the air handler works in the same way.

If you give it enough time, an air handler can be very efficient as a heating option for your home. The air handling unit can have up to five separate strips that produce electric heat.

In general, most air handlers will have only one setting. It will either be 100% on or completely off.

Should I Put an Air Handling Unit in My Home?

Ultimately, putting an air handling unit in your home is a complex question for most buyers. The problem is that air handlers use a significant amount of electricity. In fact, using one air handler is like putting one electric heater in every room of your house.

Ultimately, this comes out to a very costly total sum. However, many HVAC units require air handlers as part of their operating system.

You also need to make sure that the settings on your air handler will match those of the air conditioner or heat pump. If not, they won’t function efficiently.

If you have any question about whether or not an air handler is right for you, it’s best to discuss your needs with a certified professional.

If you are looking for an installation, visit

Choosing an Air Handler

At the end of the day, choosing an air handler unit may be the right thing for your home. It provides a unique alternative heating and cooling solution depending on your needs. A certified local HVAC professional should be able to give you insight into whether or not one of these devices could augment your home temperature control.

If you enjoyed this article about air handler units, please check out the other articles on our blog! 

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