A Comprehensive Guide to Different Types of Air Handlers

Air handlers, also known as air handling units (AHUs), are an integral part of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. They are responsible for circulating and conditioning the air within a building. Here are some common types of air handlers:

1. Single-Zone Air Handlers

Single-zone air handlers are designed to control the air temperature and humidity in a single zone or area. They are commonly used in smaller residential or commercial spaces where only one thermostat controls the temperature for that particular zone.

2. Multi-Zone Air Handlers

Multi-zone air handlers are capable of conditioning air for multiple zones or areas within a building. They provide independent control of temperature and airflow for each zone, allowing for more precise climate control. Multi-zone air handlers are often used in larger residential buildings, office complexes, or commercial spaces where different zones require different temperature settings.

3. Constant Volume Air Handlers

Constant volume air handlers deliver a fixed volume of conditioned air to the building’s zones or spaces. The airflow remains constant regardless of the demand, resulting in a consistent air supply. These air handlers are relatively simple in design and are commonly used in smaller commercial buildings or residential applications.

4. Variable Air Volume (VAV) Air Handlers

VAV air handlers are designed to vary the airflow and temperature based on the demand of each zone or space. They utilize dampers to regulate the volume of air supplied to each zone, allowing for individual temperature control. VAV air handlers are commonly used in larger commercial buildings or office spaces where different areas have varying occupancy and cooling requirements.

5. Makeup Air Handlers

Makeup air handlers provide a controlled and conditioned supply of fresh outdoor air to replace air that is exhausted from a building. They ensure proper ventilation and maintain indoor air quality. Makeup air handlers are commonly used in commercial kitchens, manufacturing facilities, and buildings with high air exchange requirements.

6. Heat Recovery Air Handlers

Heat recovery air handlers are equipped with heat exchangers that recover and transfer heat energy from the exhaust air to the incoming fresh air. They help to improve energy efficiency by preheating or precooling the fresh air supply, reducing the overall energy consumption of the HVAC system. Heat recovery air handlers are commonly used in buildings where energy conservation and heat management are priorities.

These are just a few examples of the types of air handlers used in HVAC systems. The specific type of air handler chosen depends on the size of the building, the desired level of temperature control, energy efficiency goals, and the specific requirements of the HVAC system.