What Does an Air Handler Consist Of?

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What Does an Air Handler Consist Of?

What’s an Air Handler & What’s It For?

When it comes to navigating the terminology of the HVAC industry, some words may be unfamiliar to the average homeowner. Merts Heating & Air Conditioning wants to help you understand anything that may sound foreign and explain the unknown. The more you know, the better you’ll be able to decide what is needed most to make your home comfortable with the purest air possible. So, the reason you may be reading this is blog is because you’re curious as to what an HVAC air handler is.

An HVAC air handler is a component that is less common and isn’t always required for HVAC systems. If your home is heated by a gas or oil-fired furnace, your HVAC system doesn’t have an air handler. If you have a heat pump only, an air handler is required to complete your HVAC system.

To further broaden our understanding, let’s look at what an air handler is and what it does. Once these two elements are understood, you’ll know whether your home has one now and if one is needed should you decide it’s time to replace your HVAC system.


In comparison, let’s consider a gas furnace, which blows the hot air into the duct system, which then distributes the heated air throughout the indoor space. An air handler is the indoor component of a heat pump system that blows the air into the ductwork and into the living areas and is typically located in the attic, basement or crawl space. 


Since heat pumps also provide cool air in the warmer months, the air handler functions to cool or heat the air as needed, depending on the temperature set on the indoor thermostat.

Heat pumps are not very efficient at temperatures below 40 degrees, so they are a less than economical choice for the Steger, Illinois and Crown Point, Indiana areas. 


If your HVAC system is at least 15 years old, it’s time to make an appointment with a Comfort Specialist at Merts Heating & Air Conditioning to discuss your options to make your HVAC system more efficient and economical. HVAC technology continues to evolve, and newer systems are more streamlined and run more efficiently, providing you with total comfort that will save money on utility costs over the long run. Couple your new system with upgraded accessories like air purification and a smart thermostat and you’ll have pure indoor air and heating and cooling that can be managed from your electronic devices. Don’t delay. Call Merts today.