Air Handlers

Air Handlers

An Air Handler is very much like an electric furnace and is used to distribute air throughout your home or building. Air Handlers, in Ottawa, are most commonly used with a heat pump but can also be used with an Air Conditioning system.

Some air handlers have hot water coils and distribute heating via hot water provided by a boiler. These are called hydronic air handlers and are commonly used as part of a hybrid heating system with radiant floor heating. domestic water heating is often also supplied by the boiler by using an indirect water heater.

When used with a heat pump, the primary benefit of an air handler is the integrated indoor coil which is designed to capture the heat from the heat pump first. This means that the heat pump acts as the primary heat source and the electric elements and only as a supplementary heat source, and only as required.

Air handlers are also available with hot water coils in place of the electric elements in the same configuration. Hot water from a boiler is pumped through the coil and the heat transferred to the air in order to heat the home.


Hybrid Heating Systems

These “Hybrid Heating Systems” are more common than ever, taking advantage of the efficiency of hot water heating but retaining the benefit of forced air systems. They can be particularly efficient system when combined with a heat pump.

Air handlers can be installed on the rooftop in commercial HVAC systems, but are more commonly located in indoor mechanical rooms just as a furnace would be in a residential application.

Choosing An Air Handler

When choosing an air handler, it’s critical to match the unit to the outdoor heat pump or air conditioning unit. Some heat pumps or air conditioners are designed to only work with specific indoor air handler components, while others are more versatile. These matched components can have a dramatic effect on energy efficiency ratings, noise levels and control systems for each type of air handler.

The size of an Air Handler is also a major issue when making a purchase. It is important to choose a unit with the appropriate heating and cooling capacity for the space or home. As with gas furnaces and air conditions, an improperly sized air handler will not perform properly to provide the comfort levels or efficiencies desired.

As with most heating and cooling components, an air handler must be properly maintained to function at peak performance. As with furnaces, maintenance includes cleaning or replacing the filter regularly, but an annual check of the over system is also advised. As with any HVAC system, installation should be performed and the system programmed by a skilled technician to maximize performance and reduce the risk of operation issues.


Industry-leading efficiency. Variable speed technology makes select Lennox air handlers some of the most efficient and quietest units you can buy.

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