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What Is Forced Air Heating?

Forced air heating is one of the most common heating systems available in the United States. There are tens of millions of homes with this type of heating configuration.  However, you may be wondering what exactly a forced air heating system is, and what kind of benefits are of this type of design. Here is the information you need to know about what they are, the different types of designs available, and why many people choose this type of system for their own home.

The Basics of Forced Air Heating

At the most basic level, forced air heating is a system that carries heated air throughout your house. The heat is made from whatever type of furnace you have in your home. However, once the heated air is made, it’s pushed through ducts that are built into the house. It’s then pushed out through vents into different rooms. How much or how little hot air is made depends on the temperature you set the thermostat to.

Once the right temperature is reached, the forced air system will stop circulating hot air until the temperature drops. The forced air system will then again make hot air for the house until the desired temperature is reached.

As warm air is pushed into each room, colder air then flows down to the second set of ducts. This second set of ducts is known as the cold air return system. This air is then heated inside the furnace and pushed throughout the house again.

How You Generate Forced Air Heat

Most forced air heating systems are very similar. The main difference has to do with the type of system used to heat the air in the first place. For example, your home could have a natural gas furnace, an electric furnace, a hydronic coil, or a heat pump. For certain furnaces, like a natural gas furnace, a heat exchanger will help keep particulates from the combustion process from entering the system. This helps keep you safe from harmful byproducts. For most of these heating designs, a blower or fan will help push the air through the ducts to keep the heat evenly distributed.

There are also some key advantages to a forced air heating system:

  1. The same ducts that are used for heat can also be utilized for your central air conditioning system. This means that homeowners can use one system to completely control their home’s temperature all year long.
  2. You can easily humidify the air in this system. This helps to improve air quality for many people.

Some Concerns You May Have With A Forced Air Heating System

  • It’s important to have an excellent filtration system when you operate this type of heating system. Some forced air heating systems have better filtration systems than others. Unfortunately, this type of heating system can blow dust and allergens into your house. It is important to regularly clean and replace the filters. Otherwise, it can lead to poor air quality inside a home.
  • Sometimes there are blower malfunctions, which may lead to the blower being too noisy or simply not working. The blower may also add to the electrical power costs of the whole forced air heating system. On the plus side, the blower can act as a fan in the summer during cooler days without using the air conditioner, which can also help you save money.

Energy Efficiency Is Key

According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), heating accounts for approximately 30 percent of your home’s energy costs. Forced air heating systems are highly energy efficient and affordable at the same time. This helps deliver excellent value to users. This is one of the key reasons why they’re so popular in the United States. However, much of the energy efficiency of a forced air heating system depends on the type of furnace used.

As a result, you’ll want to research energy efficiency and the cost of installing a particular furnace. This will help ensure you’re getting the best value possible with your system. Look at a furnace’s Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE). This measures how much fuel is actually converted into heat. Furnaces must now convert 80 percent of their fuel into heat, but some go as high as 98.5 percent. The higher the energy efficiency, the more likely you can save money.

For forced air heating systems, it’s important that filters aren’t blocked and that vents and ductwork are well insulated, which will improve energy efficiency.  You should also have your ductwork routinely tested to ensure that there aren’t leaks, blocked ducts, or other issues in your system.

Forced Air Heating Cost

When it comes to price, the cheapest way to install these systems is to build them into the house during the actual construction phase. Ducts and vents are much easier to install when they’re planned into the building’s construction.

You should always use a certified contractor to install a forced air heating system during the construction phase of building your home or into your already built house. Most homeowners opt to install these systems because they cost less than many other options.

The Benefits of Forced Air Heat

  • Improved energy efficiency
  • Reliability.
  • Keep the heat evenly distributed.

If you want to learn more about forced air heating systems, contact The Furnace Man at  937–427–4105  or use our Contact Us page.  Voted the Best of Dayton, the Furnace Man is the top heating expert in Dayton, OH and the surrounding areas. We can offer you quotes, information, repairs, and a consultation for your own home.



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Our services are offered for both residential and commercial clients. We have been serving the Miami Valley for a decade. Our experienced staff & quality repairs has made us the areas most trusted and recommended heating and cooling contractors around. We provide installation, repairs, service, and maintenance on the following:

Heating Units
Water Heaters
Maintenance Programs
Geothermal Heating/Cooling
Radiant Systems
Air Conditioning Units
Commercial Services
Heat Pumps
Heat Pumps
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