What is an AC Air Handler?
The ac air handler is the part of an air conditioning system that circulates air through the home. The ac air handler pulls air it in through the intake vents. The air then passes over the cooling elements. The ac air handler then blows the air out through the ducts and distributes it throughout the home. The ac air handler is often located inside the home. It typically can be found in the garage, attic or closets. Two story houses often have two air handlers, on per level.
The main component of an ac air handler is the blower fan. This fan runs at a high enough speed to move air throughout the home.
To protect the blower fan and other components in the ac air handler, a filter is placed at some point between the intake vent and the fan.
In an air conditioning system, the air handler also contains the evaporator coils. These coils are what cools the air. To do so, refrigerant is pumped from the outside condenser unit into the air handler as a high-temperature, high-pressure gas. Inside the air handler, the expansion valve converts the refrigerant into a low-temperature, low-pressure gas.
This cold gas is then pumped into the evaporator coils. As the warm air coming into the ac air handler passes over the evaporator coils, the heat in the air is pulled into the refrigerant. The cooled air passes into the ducts, and the refrigerant is pumped back to the condenser unit.
Because of the temperature change, condensation often builds up on the evaporator coils. Most evaporates, and any excess condensation is pumped into the condensate drain line to protect the air handler from damage.
In many Florida homes, the ac air handler will also contain a heating element. These are electrical coils that heat up and heat the air passing over them to provide additional heat during the winter.