What Is an Air Handler?


Residential Air Handlers are used to stabilize and circulate air for in home ventilation. Air handler units are usually found in attic space and are the indoor section of your homes central HVAC system (the outdoor AC unit is called a condenser). Air handlers usually come in the shape of a large metal box mounted sideways in your attic. Your air handler is what connects your ductwork together and allows air to flow from outside, into your handler, through your ducts, and out your vents to heat or cool your home.

How Does an Air Handler Unit Work

Air handlers utilize an internal blower to distribute conditioned air throughout a home. Air handlers are commonly confused with furnaces due to their similar appearance but they serve separate purposes.

Air Handling Unit Components

Air Filter

The air filter is located in between the air intake vent and the fan. The filer serves as a sort of “checkpoint” in order to purify outdoor air before it is blown into your ducts and out of your air vents.


The blower fan is what blows filtered and conditioned air into your ducts and out of your vents in order to cool the rooms of your home.


Your coils actually cool the outdoor air before it is filtered and distributed throughout your home. Coils use refrigerant to cool the outside air. Refrigerant is cycled back and forth between the air handler and the outdoor condenser in order to create a cooling system.

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