It’s January and your heat stops working. You head to the basement with your phone in hand to tell the repair tech what’s wrong, and he asks you if your furnace is running. Which one is the furnace? Or is that an air handler?! Now you have to pay for a house call.
Both air handlers and furnaces are responsible for heating the house, but how? If you’re wondering what the difference is between an air handler vs furnace, read on to have some light shed on the subject.
What Is an Air Handler?
An air handler is a component of a forced-air system. The air handler is responsible for moving the hot or cold air into your home. It is essentially a big fan or blower encased in a box. The air handler also has the indoor coil what is necessary for heating and cooling of homes with an air conditioner.
If you have central air in your home, you have an air handler. The air conditioning unit is outside, and the air handler is located inside the home.
What Is a Furnace?
A furnace is the appliance to creates heat. There are different kinds of furnaces, with the most effective combusting gas or oil in order to generate heat.
The thermostat decided when to turn the furnace on. The furnace starts by heating a coil inside the unit through burning oil. When the coil is hot, a blower kicks on to move the hot air through your ductwork.
When the thermostat reads that the temperature inside the home has increased, the furnace will stop generating heat and turn off until the temperature drops again.
What Are the Differences?
The main difference is that a furnace generates heat & air handler doesn’t. The air handler delivers heat through the ductwork that is generated via second appliance. A furnace houses a combustion chamber in order to generate heat within the unit. An air handler, by itself, would not generate any heat.
If you are the type who likes having fewer appliances, then install furnace in order to cut down on appliances
What Are the Similarities?
The similarities between the two are few. Both of them contain a blower that moves the air from the unit through the ductwork. Air handlers and furnaces can have a similar appearance, which often leads to people confusing the two.
The only other similarity is that both appliances are manufactured by most brands. If you have your favorite brand, you can probably find it.
Air Handler vs Furnace
When comparing air handler vs furnace we learn that both serve the function of heating the home, but how they do it is very different. A furnace generates its own heat while an air handler simply moves the heat from a different appliance into your home.
The appliances are not interchangeable so don’t try to switch out your furnace for an air handler! It just won’t work.
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