Answers to Commonly Asked Questions About Air Handlers

An air handler unit (AHU) is tasked with regulating and circulating air. It is part of an HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning) system. Typically, it looks like a large box made of metal. Inside you’ll find a variety of heating and cooling elements; a blower, filter racks, dampers and sound attenuators. Typically, they are connected via a ductwork ventilation system which spreads the air throughout the building before bringing it back around to the air handler unit. Although, it is possible to operate a system without ductwork.

6 Commonly Asked Questions About Air Handlers Answered

Want to know more about air handlers? Read on and perhaps your questions will be answered. If you don’t find the answer to your question(s), feel free to contact us by message or phone.

What are some different types of air handlers?

Terminal units: small simple air handlers that typically only contain an air filter, coil, and blower.

Makeup air unit (MAU): a larger unit that conditions 100% outside air and does not incorporate recirculated air.

Packaged unit (PU): also known as a rooftop unit (RTU), this air handler is designed to be used outside and is usually placed on the rooftop.

What components are included in an air handler unit?

Heating & cooling elements: From cooling coils to heat exchanger coils, there are a variety of elements inside of an air handler unit. Different elements for heating and cooling may be incorporated based on the needs of the area. For instance, cold areas require frost coils, while areas with high humidity require a cooling coil with an over-cool feature so that condensation occurs when the dew point is reached.

Filters: Filters are an important part of an air handler as they keep the air clean and free of dust. There are several types of filters that may be used, often in the same unit, it all depends on the specific needs of a space. Filters must be regularly cleaned and changed so that they continue to efficiently do their job.

Humidifier: A humidifier is added to units used in cool climates where the heater is frequently on. A humidifier adds moisture to prevent dry static air. There are different types of humidifiers commonly used, from an evaporative to spray mist.

Heat recovery device: This can reduce energy usage and increase overall capacity.

Controls: The controls are used to govern the mechanisms of a system, such as flow rate, air temperature, humidity and air quality.

Vibration isolators: These are used to reduce the noise and vibrations created by the air handler to the rest of the building.

Do air handlers come in different sizes?

Yes! In fact, we have a selection of air handlers available from 5,000 CFM to 20,000 CFM. We are more than happy to help you identify the appropriate unit size for your space and cooling/heating needs.

Are air handlers easy to set up?

Surprisingly, many air handlers can be easy to set up and take down.

Do air handlers improve AC effectiveness?

Yes, they absolutely can. Many air handlers can be used with chillers to offer more effective air conditioning solutions. 

Can you rent air handlers?

Yes. You may not need an air handler for an extended period of time, say for instance you are hosting a weekend-long event. That’s why we offer the option to rent air handlers. All rentals come with 24/7 support, every accessory you need, load testing, on-site service and maintenance, along with pre and post-operation inspection.

Learn more about Cooling Power air handlers