Air handlers and furnaces aren't often used together in Houston. If you rely on a furnace, you most likely won’t need to think about an air handler.
Air handlers are frequently linked with heat pumps and control airflow throughout your residence. Some systems also provide extra heating and cooling components to support the heat pump.
A furnace works in a different manner by sending warm air into your vents, which move it across your house. Because furnaces rely on combustion chambers to produce hot air, they don't use some of the parts you'll spot in a regular air handler.