Air Handling Units 101: Everything You Need to Know


Air Handling Units 101: Everything You Need to Know

Air handling units (AHUs) play a central role in the overall success of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems installed across the UK. But many people are still unclear about the precise function of air handling units.

In this article, we’ll run through all the essential information you need to know to help you maintain healthy ventilation across your entire indoor environment.

What is an air handling unit?

An AHU is crucial for good ventilation. It normally consists of a blower, heating or cooling elements, filter racks or chambers, sound attenuators, and dampers. Once installed and in operation, each AHU is tasked with one overall function: to regulate and circulate air through the building’s ductwork to create optimal conditions for everyone living or working inside in the building.

The heating or cooling elements found inside a typical AHU are used to heat, cool, humidify or even dehumidify fresh, ambient air from outside. Only when the air is at the building owner’s desired state does it begin its journey through the building’s HVAC system.

Why do I need an air handling unit?

Across both health and comfort, AHUs offer several clear and measurable benefits. They include:

• Humidity control. A good AHU can remove moisture from the air, which in turn can dramatically reduce the amount of condensation in your building. That’s essential because condensation is an often overlooked health risk. It can cause respiratory problems, or even lead to the arrival of mould and rot in your building. And if the external air is too dry, an AHU can also add an appropriate amount of moisture to deliver the ideal humidity rate.

•Temperature regulation. Regardless of the outdoor temperature, a good, well-functioning AHU can deliver and maintain consistent and comfortable indoor environments. In our experience, guaranteed comfort and ventilation in indoor workplaces almost always means happier and more productive staff and guests.

•Cleaner air. Outdoor air can pose two common risks. One the one hand, smog and pollution might make it unpleasant and even unsafe for humans. On the other, people who suffer from allergies often find the dust, pollen, chemicals, smoke, or waste that’s found in non-controlled air can cause serious discomfort. Regardless of whether your indoor environment is used by one person or 100, an AHU will make a noticeable difference to the purity and cleanliness of your indoor air.

Is it time to update my air handling unit?

As your AHU ages, there are several key indicators to watch out for. Any one of them could mean that your AHU needs servicing, repairing, or replacing. In general, you should look for:

•Decreased or inconsistent performance, including rising energy use. If your energy bills suddenly start to show that you’re using more units of energy, your AHU may have stopped working at its optimum efficiency.

•Regular breakdowns or unusual noises. Over time, you should get completely used to the sound of your AHU. If you start noticing unusual noises, it’s likely to be a sign that something is amiss.

•Reduced indoor air quality. Pay attention to the quality of your indoor environment. If you or your colleagues begin to notice a difference in the cleanliness, temperature, or humidity of the air flowing through your HVAC system, it could be time to investigate your AHU.

Ready to update your AHU? Talk to the experts at Air Vent Technology

Our friendly Air Vent Technology team is always on hand to assess your situation, guide you through your options, and help you arrive at the best possible solution for your needs.

Contact us today to get started. We can’t wait to hear from you!

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