An air handler does just what it sounds like it would do – it handles the air involved in your heating and cooling system. It is the indoor component of a split-system air conditioner or heat pump. Your air handler contains the evaporator coil, blower and many of the components of your ventilation system as well. The evaporator coil removes the heat from the air which is then blown through the series of ducts in your home, which are attached to your air handler.
Because your air handler will often contain heat strips that provide additional heating power, it is sometimes mistakenly referred to as an ‘electric furnace.’ However, there are different HVAC systems that function as true electric furnaces that work in different ways than an air handler. The heat strips in your air handler are there to provide sufficient heat when it gets a little colder outside but not cold enough to warrant having a furnace.