Electric Air Handlers for use with Central Heat Pumps, Boilers, & More!
Looking for an air handler for your new heat pump or air conditioning unit? Upgrading your existing central HVAC system to either a hybrid heating solution (furnace plus heat pump) or a single central heat pump system? On this page you will find all of our dedicated air handling units (AHU) or units that can act as both an air handler and provide a supplemental or back-up source of heat!
What is an air handler?
Air Handling Units (AHU) distribute air through a central HVAC duct system. Air handling units are part of a forced air heating or cooling system; an AHU will “push” air past heated or cooled heat exchangers and/or coils, changing the temperature of the air flowing past and then distributing this warmed or cooled air throughout your home.
As an example, if you have a central air conditioning system installed in your home, your gas furnace that normally heats your home in the winter months functions as an AHU during the summer months when your air conditioner is running! The furnace blower (a.k.a. fan) forces the warm air through the cold air conditioner evaporator coil in your duct work, and then this cooled air is circulated throughout your home.
What types of air handlers are available?
Types of air handling units offered through BPH Sales that can be used as air conditioner or heat pump air handlers include:
Dedicated air handling units:
- perfect for use as a heat pump air handler! These units built-in A-coils/condensing coils, as well as built-in filter racks to help keep your indoor air clean. Can often be upgrade with electric heaters for supplemental electric heating.
- the furnace can be used as both an air handler and a reliable back-up heating source. Condensing coil/A-coil will need to be purchased separately or with your heat pump.
- similar application as a gas furnace, just with electrical heating instead of gas combustion. Condensing coil/A-coil for heat pumps or air conditioners will need to be purchased separately or with your heat pump/AC purchase.
- these work great as an air handler and provide the added comfort of a supplemental or back-up hydronic heating source. Condensing coil/A-coil for your heat pump/AC will need to be purchased separately or with your heat pump/AC purchase.
Which air handling unit is the best?
There is no easy answer here, as it all depends on your situation. Do you want or even need to consider a back-up heating source? Do you want to re-use your existing furnace for your new heat pump system?
What we can say, however, is that investing in a higher quality, premium brand from the start will save you both money and stress in the long run. Between the additional service calls, spare parts, and untimely breakdowns (such as Christmas Eve with -25ᵒC and a blizzard outside), it is definitely worth the while to invest a bit more money at the outset and save yourself the troubles that come with a budget system later on.
Which air handler brand is the best?
This depends on what you need from your air handling unit, where it will be installed, and what source of back-up heating is required (if any). However, what we can say is that all the AHU brands provided through BPH Sales have a legacy of premium products with a continuing focus on quality.
The brands of air handlers currently offered through BPH Sales include:
- High quality, Canadian-made heating and cooling products
- Made-in-Quebec electric furnaces
- Hydronic heating specialists producing great hydronic air handlers from Toronto
- Electric furnaces by Dettson, a Canadian HVAC innovator and leader
How much does an air handler cost?
This depends on what type of air handler you need. Typically, the air handler itself is only a fraction of the total costs of installing a complete central heating and cooling system, especially if you are installing a heat pump or air conditioner as well. Generally speaking, you can expect to spend anywhere from $3,000 to upwards of $5,500 for higher end, premium air handlers or furnaces.
What sizes of air handlers are available?
Air handlers are sized by how much air they can move in a given period of time, or, in industry terms, their tonnage (sometimes also CFM, cubic feet per minute).
Our line-up of air handlers and furnaces can support everything from 1.5 tons upwards of 5 tons, so we have an air handler for every central heat pump or AC system.
Where are air handlers available?
Air handlers are available across Canada!
Can I use my existing furnace as an AHU with a central heat pump?
Almost definitely. However, you will need to ensure that your existing furnace, heat pump, coil(s), and controls are all matched together correctly. If you are not sure if everything is matched up correctly, give our team a call for assistance.
Can I use an air handler for a central air conditioning system?
Absolutely, just make sure you have compatible controls and a suitably matched air conditioner and coil.