Forced Air Furnaces: How Do They Do What They Do?

Forced air furnaces are a popular way to keep our homes warm. Between efficient use and effectiveness at heating an entire house, these heating systems have become wildly popular across the country. So, how does a forced air system work?

A thermostat monitors the temperature in the home. When the thermostat indicates the temperature has dropped too low, it triggers the system. Cooler air is drawn in through cold air return vents, through the ductwork and filters, and into the heating system. Burners warm the air in the furnace. Blowers then force the heated air back out into the house through the ducts. This continues until the thermostat sees the temperature has reached the desired level and turns the system off.

Forced air systems can work with propane, natural gas or electric furnaces. They differ from central heating in the types of furnace used and the costs for operation. Many homes use a combination of central heat and forced air heat.

Forced Air Furnaces Advantages

  • Easy installation of central air conditioning – Central air uses the same ducts as a forced air heating system, which allows a homeowner to install air conditioning without expensive work.
  • Quick home heating – A forced air heating system heats up homes rapidly.
  • Air filtration – Cool air pulled into the forced air furnace passes through a filter, cleaning it before it’s warmed and blown back into the house.

Potential Disadvantages of a Forced Air Heating System

  • Regular maintenance – Air filters must be changed regularly. The system should be inspected each year, and work potentially performed on ducts and heating elements.
  • Noise factor – Forced air systems do make noise as the blowers turn on, and air passes through the ducts.
  • Uneven heating – Because of vent positioning, some places may warm more than others. Large rooms may benefit from ductless mini splits to help.

For more information about forced air furnaces, or for any other home comfort questions, please contact T.F. O’Brien Cooling & Heating. We proudly serve homeowners throughout Long Island.

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