Air Handlers… the Perfect Solution!
An air handler is an HVAC unit out fitted with a fan and varying means of transferring hot or cold air throughout your home or building through ductwork. Air handler, in Ottawa, is most commonly used with a heat pump, air conditioner, or boiler system as the heat or cooling power plant. Although they work with an outdoor temperature regulating appliance such as a heat pump or air conditioner, they are typically installed inside the house, in the basement or a tiny space specially reserved for them.
How do Air Handlers Work?
Some air handlers have hot water coils and distribute heating via hot water provided by a boiler. These are called air handler hydronic heating systems 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.
An electric air handler unit comprises several components like a coil (to condition the air), blower (to circulate the air), and at times an electric heat strip. When used along with heating equipment, it acts as a heat pump, drawing in cool air from the home, transforming it from cool to hot air with the help of the warm evaporator coil, and then driving the heated air throughout the home. The cool refrigerant is pushed out to the heat pump and the coil is warm again for the next cycle.
In reverse mode or when used with an air conditioner, it draws in warm air from the house, and cools it with the help of the coil, and then propels the cool air to the house.
That said, it’s important to note that an air handler is neither a furnace nor an air conditioner. An electric air handler is different from a furnace in that it doesn’t have a burner to “heat” air and nor does it use natural gas to heat the home. It needs a heat pump in order to function or “heat” the air. Similarly, what makes it distinct from an air conditioner is that it cannot “condition” the air by itself and is instead a part of the split air conditioning system.
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 act only as a supplementary heat source, and that too, only as required.
Air handler heating systems in Ottawa 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.