What is an HVAC Air Handler?

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HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning. It is a field of mechanical engineering that concerns itself with the transfer and management of air. Generally, an HVAC set-up will comprise an air handler plus ductwork connecting the places in the domicile or workspace where warmth needs to be circulated, vents are to be connected to, and air has to be stirred around. The arrangement will additionally have temperature sensors, dampers, and other types of control apparatuses allowing it to perform at peak efficiency.

The Differences In HVAC Air Handler Types

There are many distinct kinds of air handlers contingent on their projected usage. These are commonplace in HVAC systems found in dwellings and minor companies. Their prevalence is the result of their economical rates and easy installation procedures. Additionally, they evenly circulate air throughout the dwelling capably. They activate with a limited amount of initial arrangement. Thanks to their modest size, these air handlers spare much area and can be installed almost anyplace, even in some rear corner of a room.

An alternative is the rooftop unit. These are generally bigger than traditional home units and are designed to resist extreme conditions, like moisture and inclement weather. Moreover, these units have extra advantages, like being able to control and track the air temperature supplied.

Air Handling Versus Recirculating

HVAC systems are generally organized either in a recirculating or for processing capacity. In the recirculating setting, air is removed directly through the structure from one region to another, not to be chilled or heated. This type of set up is common for minor ranges, for example shops and workplaces, where dispersing air equitably over the area is required. On the other hand, with the handling mode it can heat or cool air as needed in picked locations like sleeping quarters or restrooms. By connecting the handler close to the ceiling and running vents along the walls and floors, no space can be out of scope. As they are normally wide-reaching and seen in large sites they commonly feature an internal thermostat that permits variation of temperature.

The Biggest Differences In HVAC Air Handler Types

As mentioned before, the capacity and magnitude of an HVAC air handler determine its operation. The fundamental differences between different kinds of air handlers are in regards to their heights, widths and sizes. The shallower the depth, the more limited its application, as there is diminished space for ducts. The scantier the width, the fewer uses since there is little room for additional equipment such as detectors and dampers.


The following table outlines the maximum depths of common types of air handlers, which refer to the vertical distance from the top to bottom of the unit. Generally, deeper units offer more space for additional components and features.

Maximum Depth (in.): | Type | Function (What the unit is Used For)

This rooftop unit is able to tolerate extreme weather patterns and moisture. It has a clear line of sight from the roof which allows for solar panels, water tanks and any other necessary equipment to be easily added.

Radiator unit | 10 | Comparable to a rooftop unit, this typically does not provide adequate visibility for additional equipment and is generally located in an office or home with an existing open floor plan.

The smaller size and localized air distribution of a | 10 | air handler make it the ideal solution for cozy homes or those with limited open space. Furthermore, this type of system is great for augmenting existing equipment, as well as solar power applications.


The size of an air handler is dictated by the farthest distance between its right and left side walls. This length determines just how much extra apparatus and abilities it can contain. Generally speaking, the vaster the air handler, the additional inner space for features and capabilities. The following table lists some commonplace varieties of air handlers and their measured widths:

Width (in.) | Function (Purpose)

A rooftop unit 24 provides broad-ranging usage compared to a local distribution unit, making it well-suited for multi-level buildings needing additional spaces such as an office or study. It also supplies more equipment and functionalities than a regular unit.

A radiator unit resembles a rooftop unit, though it does not provide the same visibility for other equipment and is typically installed in office or house settings that feature an open floor plan.


The elevation of an air handler represents the farthest distance from the floor to the ceiling, usually measured in inches or feet. The bigger the unit is, the more headroom it will have, allowing space for installing auxiliary tools such as photovoltaic panels. Here follows a listing of standard types of air handlers with their appropriate altitudes:

Type | Height (inches) | Purpose

For taller spaces such as offices or studies, a rooftop unit (20) is an ideal solution. It works like a local distribution unit but covers a larger area and doesn’t reach the ceiling.

A radiator unit is a type of HVAC system that resembles a rooftop unit, but does not have the same unobstructed view. Radiator units are typically found in living and work spaces with existing open-plan layouts.

A local distribution air handler is an excellent choice for smaller homes or places that lack adequate open space since it is compact and releases air near where it’s needed, eliminating the need for air to travel significant distances. Moreover, this type of air handler works great with additional equipment and solar power applications.

Include Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning.HVAC air handlers are used for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning.

cooling, dehumidifying and filtering. An HVAC air handler is used to cool, dehumidify, and filter the atmosphere.