Custom Air Handling Units

Baikal’s AHUs are custom built for the customer’s needs. No two units that we manufacture are the same. Every AHU that we build is custom made for each customer.

Baikal Mechanical specialists can measure your existing unit if you are looking for a replacement, or we can survey a new location for a completely new unit. Either way, our engineering staff will take measurements to ensure the new unit is fully optimized for the space available.

Because our units are all custom, your unit can be any dimensions dictated by your space or existing unit. All sheet metal and extruded parts are designed, cut, and manufactured in our Brooklyn facility. Baikal prides itself on manufacturing air handler units in the USA. The parts are then preassembled before they are delivered to the job site.


Custom Air Handling Units - Baikal custom air handle unit

Unlike predesigned, pre-packaged units from other manufacturers, Baikal AHUs are modular in design, which allows for easy transportation to the job site. Most parts will fit through a standard office door, which makes maneuvering to the job site easier than using a crane. For larger parts (coils, etc.), a freight elevator can be used. Using a pre-packaged AHU from another company, you are forced to use a crane to get the unit from the street to the roof.

The modular design employed by Baikal allows for future updates to a unit. An example of this would be the addition of a HEPA section into a unit. For example, if there is adequate floor space to insert an additional section, the existing sections on the AHU could be separated and the new Hepa filter section could be inserted into the AHU. Because of the modular design, special rigging is not required to get units to a roof.

Baikal Air Handler Units use a fan array to supply the required CFM.


Through the use of fan arrays, Baikal’ Air Handler Units:

  • Use less energy
  • Less operating noise
  • Less vibration
  • Free maintenance

  • Baikal’ Air Handler Units use 2” thick double wall panels constructed of aluminum outside panel and galvanized steel inner panels. They are powder-coated, so these double-wall panels provide excellent corrosion protection.  The AHU has a 4” high base. Sloping drain pans are also used in the chilled water section to remove condensation and water away from the air stream.

Turn to the experts at Baikal Mechanicals

Handling It: A Guide on Custom Air Handlers

Air Handling Units or AHU; we do not pay much attention to them, but they do incredible work. The simplest definition for air handling unit is “a box containing a fan, coils, and filters.”

The purpose of an AHU is to condition and distribute air within a structure or a building. AHUs take fresh air from the outside, clean that air, heat or cool or humidify it, and then release it inside the building through the building’s ductwork. Most units have additional ducts that suck the dirty air out of the building and release it outdoors.

AHUs come in different types. There is the fan or blower coils type which include only a fan and a heat transfer coil to serve small rooms. There is the packaged AHU type which tend to single temperature zones in smaller buildings and other commercial applications. However, today we are going to discuss custom air handling units.

What are Custom Air Handlers?

A custom air handler is an air handling unit that is customized to meet any configuration the structure might require. Custom AHUs typically have the highest quality in terms of construction because they are used in industrial and institutional applications. These custom air handling units can handle high flow rates, harsh conditions, and very close controls.

They are also the AHU of choice for irregular spaces where standard packaged or modular AHUs are not applicable.

The best thing about custom AHUs is that they are fully customizable. You can have custom air handler manufacturers configure your unit to include literally any air processing components. You can also have them designed with walkways, service areas, and other spaces for easy maintenance and servicing.

The Benefits of a Custom Air Handler

Why do building owners and engineers choose custom air handlers? Here are just a few reasons.

  1. Built to Last – Custom air handling units have a long lifespan. Units can be made of aluminum, galvanized, or stainless steel which makes them ultra durable. Most AHUs are built to last for decades.
  2. Built to Withstand Pressure – Custom AHUs are designed to handle and endure higher pressures. This is why they are the preferred choice for buildings with high pressure requirements and application that need multiple filters.
  3. Return of Investment – Custom air handlers are more energy efficient, have lower installation costs, and have longer lifespans. This allows you to get a return on your investment in just a couple of years.
  4. Flexibility – Custom air handling unit manufacturers will meet your specific requirements for size, footprint, configuration, design, choice of construction materials, as well as components (i.e. fans, coils, filters, humidifiers, etc.)
  5. Easy to Maintain – Custom AHUs are easy to maintain. For instance, service access panels allow for easy and quick servicing or parts replacement.

Technical Specification of Custom Air Handlers

As mentioned, custom air handling units are fully customizable based on the building’s requirements and the owner’s desires. However, these are the basic parts of all AHUs.

  • Housing – The unit’s housing is where the AHU’s internal components are placed. This can be made from aluminum, galvanized, or stainless steel or other construction material.
  • Fan – The most important component of your custom air handler is the fan. The fan is used to push air into the building’s different spaces. Fans come in different types including airfoil, backward curved, backward inclined, and forward curved.
  • Heating or Cooling Coil – They are in charge of heating or cooling the air that comes from the outside, through the air handling unit, and into the building.
  • Filter – Filters prevent dust and other contaminants to enter the building’s air-conditioned area.
  • Humidifiers – Your unit can be fitted with a humidifier, especially if the application is in environments with cold temperatures.
  • Mixing Box – Here the return air, which is the air that circulates in the AHU and the fresh outside air is mixed, conditioned, and sent back into the building’s spaces.

Application of Custom Air Handlers

Custom air handlers are used for special capacity requirements or applications where standard manufactured equipment are not applicable. For instance, if there are physical or size constraints or abnormal connections.

Custom air handlers are typically the AHU choice for large industrial spaces, manufacturing facilities, laboratories, and other structures where standard units cannot fit.

They are designed and constructed so that the size, type of material, and components can be customized to meet specific performance requirements.

Custom air handling units provide tailor-fit solution to you air handling needs. And although these units are the most expensive type of air handlers, the benefits outweigh the costs many times over.

Mini Guide to Custom Air Handlers

HVAC is the broad term used for the controlling of interior climate, which applies to heating, ventilation and cooling. Many are familiar with residential air conditioners, though not all HVAC units are created equal. 

Commercial settings demanding top performance and efficiency use more complicated HVAC systems. As part of this larger configuration, custom air handlers provide fresh outdoor air to those inside. However, they don’t all do this in precisely the same way. 

What is a Custom Air Handler?

An air handling unit (AHU)is a series of modules that are tasked with the filtering, purifying and otherwise regulating of a building’s air. Often positioned on the roof, these box-shaped units use numerous components to control temperature, humidity and air quality.

Air Handlers are not too dissimilar from conventional AC units. They both have shared parts, namely a fan, cooling coil and heat exchangers. However, AHUs tend to have far greater filtration capabilities, as well as superior efficiency, so they’re favourable in larger spaces.

Unlike standardised factory units, a custom air handler has been built to perfectly match the structure it will serve. This applies to both physical scale of the premises and specific business parameters. Modular design, as seen with Baikal Mechanical, allows air handling units to be exceptionally customizable. 

What are the Different Types of Air Handlers?

Generally speaking, there are two types of air handler: draw-through and blow-through

In a draw-through AHU, the fan is pulling air through the various stages, starting at the mixing box, passing through filters and coil, before finally ending up at the fan outlet. Such a design can be either vertical or horizontal, where the section before the fan has negative pressure.

In a blow-through AHU, air is being pushed through those same components, sent into the ducting and eventually delivered to the inside space. The section after the fan has positive pressure. 

Aside from this variation, you can also find AHUs of different sizes. Fan coil units (FCU) are very small, designed for use with minimal ductwork and area. Make-up air units (MAU) are larger air handlers, which don’t recirculate at all but rather condition 100% of outside air. Such equipment is also known as a fresh air handling unit (FAHU).

Is RTU the same as AHU?

A rooftop unit (RTU) is simply the term for an AHU that is installed on the roof, so you can generally think of them as the same. Rooftop air handlers are compact and self-contained, where all components are housed in a solitary unit. This makes them a popular choice for small commercial spaces.

It’s common for RTUs to only have cooling functionality, using refrigerant and coil, though many are also able to heat the environment too, with heat pumps and dedicated heaters. In either case, they serve the same purpose as any AHU, conditioning and distributing air for an optimal inside environment. 

As they’re positioned on the roof, RTUs can easily collect ambient air from rooms through ducts, where it is either recirculated and cooled, or rejected and replaced with fresh air. As RTUs are more exposed to the elements, it’s important to keep on top on maintenance.

What are the Benefits of a Custom Air Handler?

A custom AHU carries many advantages over standardised models:

  • Component Selection: The most obvious benefit of a custom air handler is that the owner has greater choice over the components selected. You can add essential upgrades more conveniently, building the best for your individual situation. You don’t have the luxury of consulting on such things with predesigned, pre-packaged units. 
  • Future-Friendly: A modular design is not only great for customization, it also allows owners to make future changes more easily. Retrofitting or otherwise altering a custom AHU system will involve less stress and expense than replacing the entire set-up. 
  • Greater Efficiency: custom AHUs are configured with efficiency in mind. Space is carefully considered, where larger components are fitted to improve energy costs. Aside from being more environmentally conscious, better performance will reduce the time it takes to return your investment costs. 
  • Higher Quality, Longer Life: Custom air handlers are built to higher standards. For example, Baikal Mechanical units feature double-panelling with powder-coated aluminium and galvanised steel, providing better corrosion resistance. This commitment to quality means that custom AHUs will last decades.

The type of HVAC system right for you or your business depends on many factors, so it’s always best to get in touch with the experts. By visiting your property and consulting with you, specialist engineers can advise on your best options. This level of service is practically non-existent with predesigned, pre-packaged AHUs. 

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