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What is an Air Handler?

CM Heating - What is an Air Handler

The air conditioner unit in your home is composed of various parts that come together to create that perfectly balanced environment we all desire. One of its main components is the air handler, which is responsible for circulating air throughout the home. These units are typically mounted on a rooftop, basement, or window. As experts in AC units in Bellingham, we at CM Heating will share all we know about air handlers in this blog. We will cover its basic functions, components, and common repairs to expect in this unit. 

The Function of the Air Handler

As we already stated, the primary function of an air handler is to distribute conditioned air throughout the home. This is done by pulling in the air from the outside or from within the home, passing it through filters and other components to clean and condition it, and then distributing it to the rooms through a network of ducts. Here’s a step-by-step overview of this process; 

1. Air Intake

The air handler pulls in air from either the outside through the existing ductwork. If you have a multi-split system that doesn’t use ductwork, the air would be sent directly over the evaporator coils and cooled by the refrigerant fluids. 

2. Filters 

After the air passes through evaporator coils and ductwork, it goes through a set of filters that clean it of dust, dirt, pollen, and other particles. These filters are essential to ensure optimal indoor air quality for your home and family members. 

Typically, technicians work with various filters,  like pleated, high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters and electrostatic filters. Each of these filters has its advantages for AC unit Bellingham, and a technician will be happy to help you select the correct one for your home. 

3. Heating and Cooling Coils 

The air passes overheating or cooling coils, depending on the temperature that the thermostat is set to produce. The coils consist of tubes or fins that are filled with hot or cold water or refrigerant, which heats or cools the air. 

When AC coils are dirty or clogged, the efficiency and airflow of the unit will decrease significantly. This will cause the compressor to work harder, which will affect the function of the entire air conditioning unit. 

4. Humidifier/Dehumidifier

If necessary, a humidifier or dehumidifier is used to add or remove moisture from the air. Normally, the AC unit is equipped with special sensors that trigger the humidifier to perform its essential task. Thanks to this wonderful component, the risks of mold growth, dry skin, and allergies are largely prevented in the home. 

If you notice an increase in humidity in your home, it may be a good idea to call a local technician of AC units in Bellingham to diagnose the problem. 

5. Dampers 

The dampers regulate airflow through the system to ensure the proper amount of air is delivered to each room. 

If your home is getting inadequate or inconsistent air flow through the home, the damper may need to be adjusted. There could also be an issue with the damper motor malfunctioning. Both of these issues will cause challenges and will need to be inspected by a certified technician. 

6. Air Distribution

Finally, once the air is filtered and conditioned, it is distributed through the ducts and released into each room. 

Through this complex yet essential process, we get to experience that cooling reprieve during the hot summer months and cozy warmth during chilly winter days. If even just one of these components isn’t functioning properly, the entire unit will be out of order. Thus, it is essential to watch out for signs of repair and to maintain its condition to the best of your ability. 

Got a Broken AC Unit In Bellingham?

Do you feel like your AC is in need of a bit of TLC? If so, don’t hesitate to reach out to CM Heating, the true experts in all things related to the air conditioning system. Whether you need a minor repair, unit replacement, or general maintenance inspection, our technicians will handle it all. 


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