What is an Air Handler?

What is an Air Handler?

Posted by
Ed Miller on Wed, Aug 28, 2013

Owning a home in Jacksonville FL can be challenging to your HVAC system, due to both heat and humidity.  There are several important parts to your heating and air conditioning system. One of these is the air handler. This component is responsible for circulating the conditioned air throughout your home. The air handler itself is a system of several related parts. These parts and their function are:


  • Return duct: The input to the air handler. The return duct carries air that has already circulated through your home.
  • Supply duct: The output from the air handler. The supply duct is the source of the air that circulates through your HVAC system.
  • Filter: Located near the return duct to protect all the downstream elements from harmful particles.
  • Heating & cooling elements: Many air handlers provide the ability to heat or cool the air passing through them. Often this is done through a use of successive heating and cooling coils. These coils can also be used to remove moisture from the air, called dehumidification.
  • Humidifier: To avoid uncomfortably dry air and static electricity, some air handlers add moisture to the air as it passes through.
  • Mixing chamber: Used to introduce outside air into the system to help ensure the right air temperature.
  • Blower: A large fan unit that pushes the air through the air handler and around the HVAC system.  Blowers are available in single speed or variable speed models to allow for greater flexibility of control.
  • Fan balancing: This can be accomplished by adding weights to the fan blades, or in larger units, specific balancing hardware.
  • Heat recovery device: Used to improve the efficiency of the air handler, but can also be used to increase capacity. There are several types of heat recovery devices, including thermal wheels and heat pipes.
  • Controls: Function that allows you to regulate the air handler. This can be a simple thermostat, or a more complex control system that is managed by a computer. The controls can be used to set the temperature, humidity and fan speed, depending on the model of your HVAC system.
  • Vibration isolators: The components of an air handler generate a lot of noise through vibration. These isolators usually come in the form of flexible ductwork immediately surrounding the air handler. Further sound dampening can be accomplished by mounting the fan on springs.

HVAC units come in two types. The smaller, integrated models are usually mounted in a window frame and contain all the elements necessary for air conditioning. Many homes use the second type, called a split-system that separates into an indoor section and an outdoor section. For this split system, the air handler is the indoor portion, and can be located in a basement, attic, or closet.

At Snyder Heating and Air Conditioning, we install, repair and maintain HVAC systems in the Jacksonville area. We schedule regular checkups for your system to catch any problems early and to make sure you are not spending extra money on your utility bills. Our trained technicians use the most current techniques and equipment to ensure your heating and cooling system is running at top efficiency. We service all brands such as Trane, Goodman-Amana, Carrier and Lennox. Our primary goal at Snyder is to exceed your expectations in all facets of customer service, and we welcome the opportunity to prove it!

Call us today to schedule your free estimate. Our showroom is open to the public, so feel free to stop by and we will give you a free demo on any of our products!


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