What is Forced Air Heating?  A forced air heating unit captures indoor air, heats it, and then distributes the warm hair via ductwork and vents.

How Forced Air Furnace Works

Forced air furnaces heat the air and distribute the warm air via ducts throughout the home and into each room through vents.

The thermostat sets the desired temperature. The heating system draws cold air from home and passes it through an air filter, removing pollen and dust. It then blows the air through the air handler. The heat source (heat exchanger in furnace and heat coils in an electric furnace) heats the air before distributing the warm air throughout the home via ducts. 

The heating process repeats until the temperature of the home matches the temperature set at the thermostat.

Is Forced Air Heating Gas or Electric?

Forced air systems use natural gas, propane, oil, or electricity to heat your home.   

Pros of Forced Air Systems

Forced air systems offer many benefits, as highlighted below:

  • Air quality and comfort – With regular furnace filter maintenance, a forced-air system can improve the air quality in your home. Furnace filters trap allergens and airborne particles that can make breathing difficult or make your family sick. Additionally, if required, it is relatively easy to add a dehumidifier or humidifier to the furnace.
  • Energy efficiency – Forced air systems operate at extremely high levels of efficiency, which means lower heating costs for you.
  • Combined heating and cooling – If you decide to add air conditioning to a forced air system later, it is a straightforward process since the ductwork is already in place.

Cons of Forced Air Systems

It’s essential to educate yourself about a product before purchasing, especially a vital appliance like a heating and cooling system. While forced air systems have many advantages, they do have a few flaws. There are a few disadvantages highlighted below.

  • Uneven air distribution can occur – Forced air systems rely on vents to distribute air into the rooms of your home. Thus, uneven heat could result if the vents are blocked, e.g., furniture, poor interior design.
  •  Can create an unhealthy environment – Without regular furnace filter maintenance, your system will likely spread airborne particles. Forced air systems require simple, routine maintenance that not all homeowners want to provide.
  • Can be noisy – One of the most significant weaknesses of forced air systems is the noise level. Each time the system cycles on, homeowners hear the fans and air circulating through the vents.

How to Properly Maintain a Forced Air Unit System

It’s essential to keep the airways clean for efficiency and the best possible indoor air quality. Ensure that you contract a HVAC professional to tune up and clean your furnace at least once a year.

  • Check the filter(s) once a month and replace them as necessary. Homes with pets or residents with asthma should check even more frequently. A rule of thumb is to check every month and change at least every three.
  • Have ductwork checked at least once a year for open joints, dust buildup, and mold.  Reseal loose joints with duct tape. Repair or replace corroded ducts.
  • Clean ductwork and registers as needed. If there are no apparent problems, hiring a professional to clean the ducts every three years may be satisfactory. We recommend more frequent cleaning in dusty environments or those where occupants have pets or suffer from allergies.
  • Clean dust and soot in the combustion chamber. Your technician will check this chamber as part of their periodic checkup. Turn off electricity and gas to the unit, and after inspecting the chamber, clean it.

Final Word: What Is Forced Air Heating?

Forced air systems offer many advantages. Homeowners love that they can have both heating and air conditioning. The air filters remove allergens and other dangerous air particles. Finally, forced air systems effectively maintain comfortable levels of humidity in the home.

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