If you have a heat pump, then the indoor unit is the air handler.
- If you have a furnace, its the air handler.
This term refers to the unit housing the blower fan that draws “untreated” air into the system where it “treats” it by removing heat and humidity in summer and adding heat in winter. The air handler then pushes it back into your living space. There are single speed air handlers and variable speed air handlers. Single speed air handlers run full blast whenever they are on. Variable speed air handlers have multiple speeds and begin at a low speed when the system first starts. Once it is in full swing heater or cooling the air, the speed ramps up to a higher speed. As the cycle ends, the fan adjusts to a lower speed to blow remaining treated air out of the air handler. Better performance costs more. It’s that simple. Expect to pay 12 to 20 % more for a variable speed air handler.The repair bill will be higher with a variable speed air handler as well. Given these cons of having a variable speed air handler, there are many benefits and indoor comfort is one of them. A variable speed unit starts and ends each cycle on low speed. So, while the air might be a little warm or cool to start with, it won’t be an unpleasant blast like a single speed unit. A single speed unit runs at full speed all the time, meaning you get a blast of untreated air at the beginning and end of the cycle. It can be uncomfortably warm or cool. Variable speed units allow a better temperature balance and operate at a lower speed so they use less electricity and are more energy efficient and quiet. Variable speed air handlers do a better job at condensing moisture out of the air. Removing moisture from the air is one of the keys to indoor comfort. A variable speed air handler has many benefits to your pocket, your health, and your home’s comfort.