The Air Handler Is Out of Sight and Out of Mind, But Don’t Neglect Necessary Maintenance

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It’s tempting, I know, but just because a component of your heating, ventilation and air conditioning system is out of sight doesn’t mean it should stay out of mind. In fact, if there’s a task that should become part of your regular to-do list, it’s air handler maintenance.

As the name implies, the air handler literally handles the cool and warm air that filters through your HVAC system. The handler is a large metal box consisting of several parts, including an air blower, coils, filtration equipment and condensate pans.

All of this will probably sound like a foreign language to you until you find your owner’s manual and identify the air handler and its components. Consider it time well spent: like any other electrical device, air handlers are subject to wear and tear and their #1 enemy is dirt and grime buildup. Regular air handler maintenance will help ensure that your HVAC system works smoothly and efficiently.

  • Clean the air blower blades, first by removing dust with a rag and then by spraying and wiping them with a 50-50 mix of vinegar and water. This step alone could improve the air handler’s efficiency by 50 percent since heavy dirt buildup could severely slow the movement of the blades.
  • Use an alkaline detergent to clean the cooling coils. If they’re covered with stubborn scale deposits, ramp up your efforts by using an acid-based coil cleaner.
  • Change the filter, and err on the side of quality. Cheap filters can easily become deformed, greatly diminishing their efficiency.
  • Remove dirt and debris from the condensate pans to keep the drain lines free and unobstructed. This is where an unfortunate chain of events could develop: if the drain lines clog, the moisture could affect your ductwork and breed mold and other bacteria. Check that the condensate pans aren’t leaking. If they are, they may be patched with epoxy or relined.

At Scott’s Heating & Air Conditioning, we’re happy to walk you through the process of air handler maintenance. Call us for a lesson or better yet –  call us to do it for you! – and you’ll forever face your to-do list with the utmost confidence.


Scott’s Heating & Air Conditioning is a full-service heating and air conditioning company and a Bryant® Factory Authorized Dealer in Central Florida. Whether you need repair, maintenance, or installation of a new heating or cooling system, we provide efficient, cost-effective, and professional service. When it’s hot, call Scott!

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I had an excellent service call with Daniel today. He quickly diagnosed the problem with my ac and explained the issues, all my options, and prices. He explained everything to me such that I understood what was going on, and felt totally comfortable with the decision I made. The office staff was excellent, as well. I plan to replace my ac before year's end and will definitely purchase from Scott's. Thank you! It's so great to do business with competent, courteous, and efficient individuals.
The professionalism of the parties I spoke with and/or met spoke words. Things were explained in terms I could understand throughout the process. Even though the instillation took 2 days due to some issues, the team did their best to have my AC replaced and running by the end of day 2 and kept us comfortable in the mean time. I highly recommend this company for any AC needs…
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I had a new unit installed back in 2022 and have been having regular maintenance twice yearly since then. All has been well. Today I was scheduled for maintenance once again and my unit was taken care of, but my technician Allen pointed out that my other unit outside (not installed or maintained by Scott's) had frayed wires on the outside condenser which would soon lead to a short on that unit. He offered to get me a quote to fix that and I agreed to receiving a quote. He was able to provide the fix right away and had that taken care of in less than an hour. I really appreciated the extra attention he paid to the overall area, and that he was willing to repair something that was not installed by his company. It was his genuine concern that took precedence. I will continue to recommend this company and will most likely have them as my provider when that second unit needs replacement.

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