Air Handlers vs. Furnaces: What’s the Difference

When it comes to keeping your home comfortable during winter in Florida, it’s essential to have a reliable heating system. While Florida is known for its warm climate, the winters can bring cooler temperatures, making heating systems necessary. When choosing a heating solution, it’s important to understand the differences between your options.

In this article, we’ll explore the differences between air handlers and furnaces, two common systems used in Florida homes.


How a Furnace Produces Heat

Graphic of how a furnace worksFurnaces are a popular choice for heating homes in many parts of the country, including Florida. These systems typically use one of two fuel sources: natural gas or electricity.

In gas furnaces, natural gas is burned in a combustion chamber. In electric furnaces, electricity is used to generate heat. The heat produced during combustion or electrical resistance passes through a heat exchanger.

This component transfers the heat to the air that’s circulated throughout your home. A blower fan pushes the heated air through a system of ducts and into your living spaces. A thermostat regulates the furnace by monitoring the indoor temperature.

How an Air Handler Operates

Air handlers are another option for heating homes in Florida. They work differently from furnaces and can distribute both warm and cool air.

An air handler unit contains a blower fan that circulates air through the system. When heating is required, the air handler uses a heating element or a heat pump to warm the air passing through it.

Air handlers often include filters and can help control indoor humidity levels, contributing to improved indoor air quality and comfort. Like furnaces, air handlers are controlled by a thermostat, ensuring your home maintains a consistent and comfortable temperature.

Do You Need a Furnace if You Have an Air Handler?

In Florida’s relatively mild winters, an air handler can often provide sufficient heating without the need for a furnace. Factors to consider include:

  • Energy-efficient air handling: Air handlers can efficiently distribute heated air throughout your home.
  • Year-round versatility: Unlike furnaces that only provide heating, air handlers can also handle cooling. This year-round functionality ensures you remain comfortable in every season.
  • Cost savings: Air handlers typically have lower operating costs than furnaces.
  • Comfort and indoor air quality: Modern air handlers often come with air filtration systems, enhancing indoor air quality and overall comfort in your home.

Air handlers can be a primary heating solution in Florida, offering efficient and versatile performance throughout the year.


Schedule an Air Handler Installation With Hopkins Air Conditioning

If you’re considering a heating solution for your Florida home, Hopkins Air Conditioning is here to help. Our expert technicians will discuss your heating needs and help you find the best solution for your home.

We offer:

  • Same-day service
  • Service for all brands
  • Free estimates on replacement quotes
  • Financing options
  • Upfront pricing

Don’t let Florida’s occasional chilly weather catch you off guard.

Call Hopkins Air Conditioning today at (561) 656-4870 to schedule a heating installation that will keep you comfortable all winter.

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