Commercial air handlers carry the heavy load of cooling and heating, stabilizing indoor temperatures and humidity, as well as ensuring proper ventilation and healthy air quality throughout a facility. About 40% of energy consumption in commercial buildings is due to HVAC systems, according to the Small Business Administration.
How Air Is Handled
A commercial air handler unit (AHU) may be required to move up to 10,000 cubic feet of air or more per minute to all spaces inside the building. Accordingly, the efficiency rating and performance of the air handler directly impacts monthly cooling or heating costs. Large, powerful, commercial air handlers are installed and maintained in compliance with local codes specific to commercial installation.
Common components of commercial air handlers include:
- Powerful air blower
- Air-conditioning coils or a chiller that utilizes circulating water to cool the air
- Electric or gas-fired heating components
- Dampers to adjust airflow volume in different ducts throughout the building
- Air filters
- Sound-dampening materials
Split vs. Rooftop
An indoor split system HVAC installation is composed of two segments: the indoor air handler and a separate outdoor condenser unit. A rooftop unit typically incorporates all components into a single large cabinet. Benefits of rooftop AHU include:
- Simplified access for routine maintenance and/or any needed repairs. The rooftop unit is generally unobstructed and accessible from all sides.
- Improved air quality. Rooftop air handlers blend filtered, fresh, outside air into recirculated air from the building. This additional source maintains proper airflow volume, supports efficient furnace combustion, and improves indoor air quality.
- Better efficiency performance. Rooftop air handlers typically include a wider array of controls that affect energy efficiency and accurate temperature control.
- Efficient use of space. Separate outdoor condenser units required for a split system occupy space on the property. The rooftop is generally more available, and no ground space is required.
- Quieter operation. Sound from a rooftop AHU does not penetrate the building as much as ground-based outdoor components in a split system.
To make more informed decisions about the choice of commercial air handlers, talk to the experts at Jackson & Sons.