Are you replacing your air conditioner or heat pump? Chances are you will be replacing your air handler (also known as fan coil units and blower assemblies) too. Air handlers work in conjunction with an air conditioner or heat pump. They are what make it an HVAC system. Without an air handler there would be nothing to move the air through your evaporator coil and throughout the duct work system of your home. Replacing an air conditioner or heat pump with an original air handler just doesn’t make sense.
You should replace your air handler when you replace your air conditioner or heat pump because matched systems perform better. An air handler matched to an air conditioner or heat pump work together as a system to produce specific SEERS, EERS and HSPFS. Thus, efficiency ratings are based on matched systems as per (AHRI) Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute, a third-party laboratory that certifies HVAC equipment. That means if you bought a heat pump with a 16 SEER rating to help you save money on your utility bills, you won’t realize the full potential of those savings without the matching air handler as specified by AHRI on the AHRI certificate.
Technology has changed and air handlers are now available with electronically commutated motors (ECM) which are variable speed blower motors which provide better temperature and humidity control, better air distribution and quieter operation. ECM blower motors also use two-thirds less electricity than PSC or permanent split capacitor blower motors found in older air handling units. Replacing both now will ultimately save you money. Since most HVAC systems are installed at the same time, your air handler unit is probably the same age as your air conditioner or heat pump unit. Additionally, if your heat pump or air conditioner is 10 years old or older, it’s time to replace it anyway. If you choose to replace only part of your HVAC system, you will probably have to spend the money to replace the other piece shortly thereafter, and that means paying installation costs twice. Replacing both ensures you will have an efficient, dependable HVAC system with a manufacturer’s warranty and labor guarantee. Contemporary Air Systems understands the financial burden of a new heating and air conditioning system. That’s why we’ve partnered with well known financial institutions offering 0% financing with various options to choose from to fit your budget.
Generally, for residential applications, air handlers, furnaces, air conditioners, heat pumps, and evaporator coils come with a 5 year parts warranty. When registered online they then have a 10 year parts warranty. Some manufacturers may not extend full warranty coverage (10 year parts warranty) to an heat pump or air conditioner that is not paired to the matching air handler to make an HVAC system as determined by AHRI. Nor will they qualify for BGE rebates. A new HVAC system must contain an AHRI certificate in order to qualify for a BGE rebate because BGE rebates are based on efficiency ratings.
Replacing just the air handler might appear cheaper right now, but over time, it will cost more in repairs, time, and high utility bills because it is inefficient.