What Is Your Air Handler?

an air handler

Have you ever been talking to your HVAC technician or searching for information about your system online and come across the term “air handler”? If you’re like many homeowners, you’re not an expert at HVAC terms and this one might’ve given you pause. We’re here to clear up any confusion about what your air handler is and what it does for your home.

What Is The “Air Handler”?

Simply put, for homeowners with a split system (units that have components indoors and outdoors) set up, the air handler is an indoor component of the unit that circulates air through your home.

Getting conditioned air throughout your home is an important job, which is why the air handler is an integral part of your a/c system.

What Makes Up The Air Handler?

Your system air handler is made up of a few different parts that help it keep your home at the desired temperature. These parts include:


The coil is the part of your air handler that actually cools the air that will later be circulated through your home, lowering the temperature. Refrigerant, as a gas, is pumped into the coils inside the air handler. Air is cooled by passing over the coils and then into the duct system where it will be distributed throughout your home.


The “blower” part of your air handler is a fan. This fan blows the air cooled by the coils into the home using the duct system that is part of your home’s ventilation. This component is just as important as the coils, since without it cool air will not reach everywhere it should in your home, causing your system to run longer than it should.


The filter for your air handler is what makes sure that air being pulled into the system from outside is purified before being cooled and distributed throughout the house. This filter is located between the fan and the intake vent. Ensuring that your filter is in good condition is an important part of protecting your home air quality.

Air Handler Vs. Air Conditioner

Now you know what your air handler does, you might be wondering what the real difference between your air handler and your air conditioner is. After all, the coils that cool the air that gets sent into your home are in the air handler… right?

While it’s true the coils that cool your air are located in the air handler, the air handler is only half of the unit that makes up your air conditioning system. As mentioned earlier, an air handler is used in split system air conditioners, which utilize an indoor component (the air handler) and an outdoor component, which is your outdoor condenser. Together, these two parts work to keep your home at the desired temperature.

Have questions about the air handler in your split system air conditioner? Ready to schedule your annual system maintenance to keep your air conditioner up and running? Contact the HVAC experts at AirOne Heating and Air Conditioning, a San Marcos HVAC contractor, to speak to a technician or schedule an appointment today!