If your home’s heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) system features a heat pump, it probably has an air handler. Air handlers are commonly used in conjunction with heat pumps. It’s an essential component that’s responsible for moving the conditioned air through your home. To learn more about heat pump air handlers and how they work, keep reading.
What Is an Air Handler?
Also known as an air handling unit (AHU), an air handler is a large cabinet-like system that contains several different HVAC components. Like traditional air conditioning systems, heat pumps feature outdoor equipment and indoor equipment. The heat pump itself is installed outside of your home. The air handler, on the other hand, is installed inside of your home.
The Different Components of a Heat Pump Air Handler
Heat pump air handlers contain several different components, all of which are contained within a cabinet-like system. One of the main components in a heat pump air handler is the blower. The blower is a fan that circulates air through the ductwork. It pulls unconditioned air through the return vents, and it releases conditioned air out the supply vents.
In addition to a blower, heat pump air handlers typically have an air filter. Air filters are screens that collect and remove debris from the air. After sucking up the unconditioned air, the air handler will force it through the air filter. Only after passing through the air filter will the newly conditioned air enter your home’s living spaces. You can usually find the air filter inside of the air handler.
Another important component of a heat pump air handler is the evaporator coil. Heat pumps aren’t all that different from traditional air conditioning systems. They still have an evaporator coil, and they still have a condenser coil. The former type of coil is found inside of the air handler.
The Mechanics of a Heat Pump Air Handler
When using your HVAC system to cool or warm your home, the air handler will circulate and move air throughout your home. This is the task of the blower, which is found inside of the air handler.
The air handler’s evaporator coil will also play a role in cooling and warming your home. When cooling your home, the evaporator coil will absorb heat and humidity. When warming your home, on the other hand, it will release heat. In the latter scenario, the evaporator coil will essentially act as a condenser coil.