An Air Handler Unit (AHU) with Variable Air Volume (VAV) boxes is a specialized component of a building’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. It plays a crucial role in distributing conditioned air throughout the building to maintain a comfortable indoor environment.
An air handler, as its name suggests, is responsible for ‘handling’ or managing the flow of air in an HVAC system. It typically comprises several components including a blower, cooling and heating elements, filter racks or chambers, sound attenuators, and dampers. The air handler unit intakes air from the building, which then passes over the cooling or heating coils. This process either cools down or heats up the air depending on the desired temperature setting. Once this process is completed, the unit then circulates this conditioned air back into the building.
A vav box, on the other hand, is a component that regulates the volume of this conditioned air that is distributed to different parts of the building. It primarily operates on the principle of variable air volume; hence the name. The vav box is typically installed in the ductwork and contains a damper that adjusts its position based on the cooling or heating requirements of a specific area in the building. The key advantage of using vav boxes is their ability to provide precise control over temperature in individual rooms or zones, thus enhancing overall comfort and energy efficiency.
In combination, an air handler unit with vav boxes constitutes a critical part of an HVAC system. The air handler ensures that air is properly conditioned – cooled or heated – while the vav boxes ensure that this conditioned air is efficiently distributed throughout the building based on specific requirements. This integrated system not only ensures optimal thermal comfort but also contributes to significant energy savings by preventing over-conditioning or under-conditioning of certain areas. Therefore, an air handler unit with vav boxes is integral to the efficient operation of any HVAC system.