Here are the 2013 top rated air handlers. They are designed to work with heat pumps in all climates and ACs in very warm climates or where an alternate heat source is used.
When you add electric heat strips to them, they become electric furnaces. The heat is used as auxiliary heat in emergencies or can support a heat pump in very cold weather. In warm climates, they can be used as a source of heat, but electric heat is not efficient and will produce higher heating bills than a heat pump will. Use the links to read the full reviews of each model.
2013 Best Air Handlers and Electric Furnaces
1. American Standard Platinum ZV Air Handler Electric Furnace
The Platinum Series is one of the best in the HVAC industry. The variable-speed American Standard Platinum ZV air handler will boost heating and cooling when paired with compatible Platinum heat pumps and air conditioners. The unit is equipped with AccuLink communications that offer remote monitoring and programming with a smart phone.
2. Bryant Evolution FE4A Communicating Air Handler Electric Furnace
This is a variable-speed air handler that can boost cooling efficiency of a heat pump or AC by up to 15% or 2 SEER. It uses communicating technology to maximize efficiency and climate control. Larger models of the Bryant Evolution FE4A can be outfitted with 20kW heat strips.
3. Trane Hyperion XL Air Handler Electric Furnace
This variable-speed air handler helps control temperature balance, humidity and indoor air quality. Trane’s best air handler can be equipped with heat strips up to 20kW. The Trane Hyperion XL air handler can be programmed remotely using a smart phone and the TAM module accessory.
4. Carrier Infinity FE5 Air Handler Electric Furnace
This is Carrier’s top model, a variable-speed air handler that boosts cooling efficiency by 2 SEER and heating efficiency by 1 SEER. The efficient ECM motor is quiet and durable. The Carrier Infinity FE5 air handler can be outfitted with auxiliary heat strips up to 20kW.
5. Lennox Signature CBX40UHV Variable Speed Air Handler Electric Furnace
Lennox’s best is a variable-speed model that will optimize indoor comfort and energy efficiency. It boosts cooling and heating efficiency when paired with Lennox Signature heat pump or AC. The Lennox Signature CBX40UHV air handler does not emit ozone, and it can be outfitted with auxiliary heat up to 20kW.
6. Amana ARPT SmartFrame Air Handler Electric Furnace
This multi-speed model offers upflow, downflow and L/R horizontal flow for versatility of installation. The all-aluminum coil contains a TXV valve too. Heat strips with 3, 5, 8, 10, 15 and 20 kilowatt capacity are available for the Amana ARPT SmartFrame air handler.
7. Armstrong BCS2V Air Handler Electric Furnace
With a variable-speed blower to enhance climate control, this model works very well with Armstrong’s top heat pumps. The blower has an ECM motor designed to use less energy. The Armstrong BCS2V air handler comes with an installed coil. Heat strips of 5, 7.5, 10, 15 and 20 kilowatts can be installed.
8. Goodman AVPTC Variable-Speed Air Handler Electric Furnace
This is a variable-speed air handler that is compatible with Goodman’s ComfortNet communicating system to maximize performance. Auxiliary 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 15 and 20kW heat units are offered on the Goodman AVPTC air handler, depending on the capacity.
9. Ruud RHPL Series Air Handler Electric Furnace
The Ruud RHPL air handler is a multispeed air handler equipped with top-rated GE ECM motors. Field-installed auxiliary heat strips up to 20kW come with integrated circuit breakers. On-demand dehumidifying mode is ideal for warm, humid climates.
10. York Affinity AVG Air Handler Electric Furnace
A variable-speed blower and the ClimaTrak adjustable system allow you to tailor performance to your climate. The ECM motor is quiet and efficient. The York Affinity AVG air handler takes heat strips up to 20kW.
Which air handler/electric furnace is right for you? Talk with a qualified contractor about your options. Since the air handler contains the blower, it is often a more important choice than the heat pump or AC you pair it with. Get several written estimates on systems you are considering. Read our HVAC reviews on these models. The more research you do, the more likely you are to choose an HVAC system you’ll be happy with in the years ahead.