The Forced Air System — A Good Option?
Are you considering the purchase of a forced air system? Perhaps you’re curious as to why forced air systems are the most popular type of heating system in North America. In this post we’ll explore ins and outs of a forced air system.
In a nutshell, these systems use a furnace or heat pump to heat the air and circulate it through the home via ductwork and room vents.
As soon as the thermostat is set to a particular temperature, cold air from the home is drawn into the system where it passes through an air filter, removing environmental irritants such as pollen and dust. It then moves that air through an air handler where it is warmed by the furnace’s heat source and spread to the home through the ducts via the blower motor.
If you have a heat pump instead of a furnace, it will pull heat out of the air at the outdoor unit, pass it through the refrigerant lines going into your home, then through the air handler and into your ducts.
Pros and Cons
There are pros and cons to virtually everything, and forced air is no different. Pros include the following:
- Better air quality: By using premium air filters, you can trap allergens and dust within your home. You can also install dehumidifiers and humidifiers in the system to precisely control your indoor environment’s humidity.
- Energy efficiency: The government now requires extremely high efficiency standards for forced air systems. This could translate into savings in your heating bills.
- One system for heating and cooling: Forced air systems are the only HVAC systems that combine heating and cooling. The ductwork is used for both the heating and air conditioning in your home.
- Poor/uneven air distribution: If vents are blocked or clogged by furniture, carpet, etc., or your ductwork is run poorly, you will experience uneven air distribution that may result in cold/warm spots in your home.
- Poor air quality: Forced air systems require regular maintenance — this includes regular changing of the furnace’s air filter. Without proper maintenance, your system could be spreading the airborne irritants it was designed to trap.
- Noise: Some homeowners find the cycling of the system and the sound of the fan blowing air throughout the home to be a nuisance.
We hope this overview of forced air systems will help you make an educated choice regarding your heating and cooling. If you have any questions or concerns, always contact a licensed contractor.