In a normal split system design installed by most HVAC contractors, you will find an air conditioner
and a gas furnace
. With this combination, you also will have an evaporator coil
mounted on top of the furnace. If this already has you confused, don't worry. Just read our HVAC system information
page to learn more.
For home heating and air conditioning systems that do not use a furnace, and instead use a heat pump or radiant system, an air handler replaces the furnace and the evaporator coil. Inside an air handler (also called a fan coil) is the coil system that an air conditioner pumps refrigerant to, and the fan motor responsible for circulating air throughout your home.
When the air conditioner is running, the chilled refrigerant is pumped inside to the indoor coil, and then the fan motor engages to begin pulling warm air from the home, and forcing it through the chilled coil system. This cools the air, and also dehumidifies it as water condensates on the cold coil.
Air Handler Efficiency
An air handler affects your overall heating and cooling efficiency. Variable speed fan motors are quieter, and more efficient, and a UV lamp
can keep your coil operating efficiently by killing mold. Also, make sure your air conditioning dealer provides you with information on how the air handler selected can affect not only efficiency, but warranty coverage when installing new equipment.
For some manufacturers such as Carrier®, if you match their recommended air handler to their air conditioner or heat pump, cooling efficiency can go up by 2 full SEER points! Other manufactures like York® strip away part of their warranty coverage if you do not use their brand of air handler with their air conditioners or heat pumps.
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