How To Look At A House

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Can the disconnect for an air handler be inside it?

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

The disconnect for an air handler can be inside it (as in photo above), on it, next to it, or within sight—but must be readily accessible wherever it is located. An example of “in sight” would be if there is a panel with the breaker for the air handler in it that is nearby and has a clear sightline to the unit. A lock-out device on a breaker in a panel that is not within sight is not acceptable. The disconnect can be a switch, breaker, or pull-type disconnect box. Theoretically, a cord that could be unplugged from a wall receptacle would also work, although we have never seen it done.

    The National Electrical Code (NEC 440.14) states it this way: “Disconnecting means must be located within sight from, and readily accessible from the air-conditioning or refrigeration equipment. The disconnecting means shall be permitted to be installed on or within the air-conditioning or refrigeration equipment. The disconnecting means shall not be located on panels that are designed to allow access to the air-conditioning or refrigeration equipment or to obscure the equipment nameplate(s)."

Also see our blog post When was a disconnect within sight of an air conditioner or heat pump first required?

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  To learn more about heating and air conditioning systems, see these other blog posts:

How can I find out the SEER of my air conditioner? 

My air conditioner won't turn on. What's wrong? 

How can I find out the size of my air conditioner? 

How can I tell whether the condenser (outdoor unit) is an air conditioner or heat pump? 

Where is the air filter for my central air conditioner and furnace? I can’t find it? 

Does an old air conditioner use more electricity as it ages? 

How did homes stay cool in Florida before air conditioning? 

What is wrong with an air conditioner when the air flow out of the vents is low?

Why has the thermostat screen gone blank? 

Why does it take so long to cool a house when an air conditioner has been off for a while? 

Why is my air conditioner not cooling enough? 

What are the most common problems with wall/window air conditioners?  

Will closing doors reduce my heating and cooling costs? 

   Visit our HEATING AND AIR CONDITIONING page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.

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