What is an Air Handling Unit?
Air handling units are part of a residential or commercial heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system. A residential or commercial Air Handling Unit (AHU) will condition and deliver the heated or cooled air into the air duct system so that it can be distributed throughout the home or building. The air handler may also have built in filters to remove pollutants from the indoor air. Understanding how air handlers work and how to maintain them can make for a more comfortable and healthier home or building.
What Air Handlers Do
“How do air handlers work?” is a common question that our heating and air conditioning service technicians receive while out in the field doing maintenance and repair work. Within the air handler are air filters, metal coils, a motor and fan and possibly electronic filters for capturing dust. The exterior of the AHU is comprised of galvanized steel. The heated or cooled air from the furnace, heat pump or air conditioner is pushed into the air handler by fans. The air passes through filters that collect particles of dust and other contaminants. The air handler’s motor then pushes the conditioned and cleaned air into the ductwork. Some air handlers contain their own heating and cooling elements. Home and business owners may also choose to have a dehumidifier installed in the air handler. The built-in dehumidifier will condense moisture from the air before the air is blown into the air ducts. The resulting water is drained away through a condensate pipe attached to the AHU.
Benefits of Air Handling Units
Air handling systems can do the jobs of many types of ventilation equipment combined into just one slightly larger system. They can improve the quality of the indoor air, in some cases reducing allergy and asthma symptoms. Additional benefits of AHUs include:
- Improved climate control
- Increased energy efficiency of the HVAC system
- Fewer airborne allergens
Air Handler Maintenance Requirements
AHUs need regular maintenance in order to operate at their best performance level. The air filter should be replaced at least every 90 days. In homes with allergy or asthma sufferers, the air filter may need to be replaced as often as every 30 days. Like other mechanical systems, the air handler should have an annual tune-up and safety inspection.
If your home or business doesn’t have an air handler or the old AHU needs to be replaced, you could gain many benefits from having a new one installed. At Accurate Comfort Services, Inc., we’ve installed all makes and models of air handlers for a variety of customers. Call us today to learn more about our current specials or schedule any AC service with our dedicated and professional staff.