Your Air Handler Needs Repair Or Replace It: Find Out

Can I just replace the air handler?

Usually, when part of an appliance is broken, you will need to change only the damaged component. An air handler must be compatible with the outdoor unit.

If you replace your air handler and install it with your old outdoor unit, there is a great possibility of a mismatch.

A Must Read: What Is The Difference Between AC Compressor And Condenser?

Can I just replace the air handler? No, you can’t just replace the air handler. Replacing both will save you money and provide more advantages. A mismatched system never works out.

In this article, you will learn about the importance of replacing the whole unit instead of replacing just the air handler.

Mismatched Units

A mismatch occurs when your new air handler is not compatible with your outdoor unit. Outdoor units and indoor units are designed to work in a matched unit.

Full experience and comfort can be achieved only if both the outdoor and indoor units have the same designs.

Mismatched units may work, but they won’t give you any satisfaction. They will only cause bigger problems in the long run.

Mismatching units will threaten your AC’s efficiency in generating cooled or heated air.

Efficiency Ratings

The efficiency of an AC system is dependent on matched systems. The ratings of the heating and cooling of a unit are based on a matched system performance.

Each unit is designed to be a set. The SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) represents how energy-efficient your HVAC system is. It will be based on a specific system combination.

For example, let’s say your new air handler has a 14 SEER efficiency rating, while your old condenser has an 18 SEER efficiency rating.

There’s a big chance that it will not operate according to your expectations – or it might not operate at all.

It will not save any money. It will actually cost more because it will need constant repair and replacement.

Technological Advancement

Technology changes everything, including HVAC system models. Technology has made newer designs better than the old ones.

The latest HVAC systems improved by technology have outshined the older ones.

The modern units are now better at reducing noise levels, debris filtering, and air circulation.

Replacing both indoor and outdoor units will give you more confidence that your HVAC system is running well. It will make your home more comfortable.

Refrigerant Model

Both indoor and outdoor units must support the same refrigerant. The refrigerant is essential to an AC’s cooling process.

A unit that has been manufactured before 2010 uses R-22 refrigerant. It isn’t easy to purchase something old today.

Using an air handler that has R-410a refrigerant will never be an option for an R-22 condenser. You have to upgrade the whole unit.

Future Installations

Let’s say that you replaced the air handler because it failed, but the condenser is still working fine.

There’s a big possibility that the condenser will also fail soon. Remember that both units are subjected to the same amount of wear and tear.

Replacing just one unit will only cause you more installation costs in the near future. When the condenser ultimately fails, you will have to hire someone to install a new consider, which means you will spend more money.

Warranty Void

Most manufacturers invalidate the remaining warranty when you replace one of the units.

This is among the main reasons why mismatched units are a no-go. Several manufacturers, especially reputable brands, have the same rules about warranties.

When you replace both units and install new ones, you will get a new manufacturer’s warranty and service guarantee.

While replacing just one of the units is cheaper in the short term, it is not practical.

Air-Condition Evaporator Coil And Condenser Coil

HVAC manufacturers convey the cooling and heating capacity of your air-conditioning units in terms of tons.

When purchasing the same unit, you are assured that they both have the same designs. The evaporator coil and condenser coil should always have the same capacity rating to be efficient.

Several homeowners assume that installing a coil with a higher capacity rating will create a better AC system. But that’s not the case. It will cause the system to work harder than it should. By this, a surge in your energy bill is guaranteed.

Overworked coils or components will provide a higher risk of burnout because they will work double-time.

No matter how hard the coils attempt to match the higher capacity coil’s output, it won’t happen. It will wear down the other parts and could also ruin your newly bought air handler.

Signs That Your Air Handler Needs Repair

Following are indications that your air handler needs repair.

Dirty AC Blowers

Remember that your indoor air handler has filters that shield its blower from contaminants. Always check for dirt or debris in the air filter system, and change the filters if and when necessary.

The usual changing of air filters is at least once a month. This will positively impact the airflow in your ventilators.

Problems in the Fan Unit

The component of your AC handler that blows the conditioned air throughout your indoor space is the fan/blower.

You will know that the fan is broken when you no longer feel comfortable with the air. If you hear strange and weird noises from the fan, an immediate repair must be done.

Failure of the Blower Motor

This is the most common problem in the air handler. When your blower is broken, immediately contact an HVAC specialist in your area.

The problem can be caused by a malfunctioning control board, bad relay, failing run capacitor, or the blower itself.

Pan Leaks

This is another common problem you will encounter with your air handler, especially in hot climates. Hot climates make your AC work harder to produce optimum air-conditioning.

Contaminated Blowers

Contaminants such as mold can get inside your blowers. They will ruin the air quality in your home. Blowers become contaminated when they do not receive seasonal maintenance.


If you are thinking about changing only the air handler, do not do it. It will not do any good and will only cause you future troubles and expenditures. Change the whole unit instead.

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