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How Does an Air Handling Unit Work?

Construction Tech Review | Monday, January 10, 2022

Air handling units work to cool, heat, or cleanse the air. It requires following certain steps in order to work successfully.

Fremont, CA: The objective of an air handling unit, also known as an air handler, is to manage air as part of a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system in terms of cooling, heating, filtration, and so on. It regulates the temperature of the air, which means it can cool or heat the air depending on the situation. The type of project, space availability, building size, and other factors all influence where an AHU is placed in a building.

The step by step working of an air handling unit is as follows:

Fresh air entry

The AHU's intake louver allows fresh air to enter. The louver aids in preventing any animals or birds from entering the AHU. A unique louver called a sand trap louver is utilized with a ducted transition piece and attached to the AHU inlet damper in the sand zone or desert zone.


There are two options.AHU is only used to provide fresh air. After that, the fresh air is filtered through several sorts of filters. Recirculation is also accomplished with the help of an AHU.


The air is purified after filtering and then passed through the cooling coil.

Moisture elimination

The moisture eliminator then flows cool air through it, removing any moisture from the air.

Heating process

The air is circulated through heaters following the moisture eliminator to control/remove the moisture content. Heaters are often not provided in AHUs, but rather in the ducts, depending on the project requirements.

Conditioned air supply

The air is subsequently drawn in by the blower and transferred to the conditioned sections. A ducting system connects the fan to the ducting system. This ducting system aids in optimum air distribution. For a small group or a small space, It is not necessary to employ the ducting system.

Air circulation in the system

The conditioned air absorbs heat in the areas and returns to the AHU via the return air opening/damper, where it is mixed with fresh air. This process is ongoing, and AHU is operational.

Controls and interface

There are numerous instruments in the AHU that help to understand filter health, AHU health, chilled water temperatures, pressures, airflow rate, and other factors that aid in meeting demands and maintaining the AHU's good health.

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