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Air Handler Problems and Troubleshooting

What is an air handler?

An air handler or air handling unit (AHU) is the device that circulates air as part of an HVAC system. It is a complex mechanism that comprises of blowers, heating and cooling elements, filters, and dampers. The air handler is a critical part of the HVAC system and Experts on Just Answer have answered questions on all aspects of air handler troubleshooting, problems and repairs, below.

Is installing a variable speed air handler worth the extra expense?

The best way to answer this question is to list out the pros and cons of variable speed air handlers. The pros first. A variable speed unit will consume less electricity because they usually run at below top speed whereas single speed unit always run at 100%. Variable speed units ramp up slowly so there is no sudden blasts of air when you start the system. Variable speed air handlers are much quieter. They also remove more humidity from the air, and they deliver air better. The only con is that if there are duct leaks, the losses will be increased.

What could be the problem if a Janitrol Model A24-08 heat pump air handler does not run in cooling mode or fan mode?

Case Details: Doesn't work in either manual or auto, however, it does work in the heating mode

The fan relay appears to be bad. This is a common problem with this make. It is actually not a relay, though that is what they call it. It is a sequencer. This will need to be changed. The reason the air handler works in the heating mode is that the unit is fed from the normally closed contacts on the blower time delay relay from the heat sequencer. The heat sequencer should be located next to the relay and it would be a good idea to replace it at the same time.

Why would a Rheem air handler model RHLA HM4821JA come on at night and in the early morning without the condensing unit starting?

Case Details: When the outside temperature rises, the unit begins to function properly but never warms the house.

The most likely cause of the problem is that the unit is not defrosting properly. Without proper defrosting the unit cannot deliver heat effectively and the electric backup comes on. Another reason for inadequate heating could be that a defective sequencer may be affecting the operation of the heat strips. Rheem had a problem with the defrost boards for that model and the demand was so high dealers were often out of stock. The replacement boards now available are much better may need to replace the defrost board.

If a Carrier Model fk4dnf005 will not come on, nothing works at all, what could be the issue?

Open the blower door and check if the 5 amp fuse is blown and replace it if need be. If the fuse is not the issue find the R, W, G, T, O and C terminal on the control board. Jump between R and G and see if the fan starts. If it does take a voltmeter and place one lead on R and one on C and see if you have 24 volts. If so, it looks like you have a thermostat problem – jumping R and G bypassed the thermostat and the fan started. Pull the front cover of the thermostat off and jump between the R and G terminals and then R and W. If the unit starts then your thermostat probably needs to be replaced.

I have a Trane model TWE036C140B0 Air Handler matched with a Nordyne JT5BD 3 Ton Heat Pump are the two systems a match?

As far a matching goes you can have larger indoor unit but not an outdoor one. For example, a 3.5 ton indoor unit will work fine with a 3 ton outdoor unit, but not the reverse. However, this does not apply in your case as both the units are 3 tons.

An improperly functioning air handler can affect the efficiency with which an HVAC unit operates and one that is nonfunctional can cause the HVAC system to stop working completely. When air handler troubleshooting it is best to follow the instruction given in the owner’s manual. If this does not sort out the air handler problems it is advisable to get the advice and help of experts to resolve the issues

Ask a HVAC Technician

gotoman for ac
gotoman for ac, HVAC Technician
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 4766
Experience:  51 years of experience install design and repair of all makes and models of AC
19613070
Type Your HVAC Question Here...
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HVAC Technicians are Online Now

How JustAnswer Works:

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    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
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HVAC Technicians are online & ready to help you now

gotoman for ac
HVAC Technician
Satisfied Customers: 4657
51 years of experience install design and repair of all makes and models of AC
Phil
Mechanical Engineer
Satisfied Customers: 3888
Retired HVAC/ Electrical & Boiler contractor. Industrial
Rick Mather
HVAC Technician
Satisfied Customers: 3132
35 years experience, HVAC

Recent Air Handler Questions

  • I have a Burnam boiler installed in 2004 (Model #3WNH). In

    I have a Burnam boiler installed in 2004 (Model #3WNH). In the apst few days it began making a whistling sound similar to a kettle as the water in it reaches the boiling point. It starts about 20 seconds after the boiler fires and lasts for about 20 seconds after the boiler shuts down. Three different service people from the fuel oil company ahve been here on three separate days and each spent about three hours each doing things. The Aquastat was turned down from 200 degrees, to 180 degrees to 170 degrees. A new Aquastat was installed and set at 160 degrees. A new pressure relief valve was installed on the expansion tank and some new fitting were put on the oil line and so forth. The whistling sound persists and is unchanged as a result of this work. It sounds like there is some steam pressure building up inside the boiler itself but no one has a cear idea of how that might happen. There is antifreeze in the waterlines but not above an appropriate amount. The next step is to purge the lines and refill them with plain water which I am not optimistic will solve the issue. Any thoughts?
    Thanks...Phil
  • My Carrier 58 series heater is blowing cold air and has a 33

    My Carrier 58 series heater is blowing cold air and has a 33 to 13 code. I had a dirty filter and just replaced it. I imagine the dirty filter is what triggered the 33/13 code in the first place... with the furnace auto reset, or do I need to do something to manually reset it?
  • My wall furnace has been operating fine. Four days ago I put

    My wall furnace has been operating fine. Four days ago I put heavy plastic over my windows, two days ago I started smelling gas. Today, the smell was so strong that I shut it off and opened the doors of the house. I looked at the flame and it is blue, but on the edges of the burner the flame is backing up and outside of the burner chamber. I pulled off all of the chimney vent and ran a brush through it, but the was only a small amount of black sutt. I put the chemney back in and fired it up. And it still does it. I opened the outside door and it helped but I can not leave the door open with it -5 degrees outside. Do I take the plastic off or is there a different answer? Thanks Leonard
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