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What is Forced Air Heating?


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If you’re looking to replace your heating system, you already know you’re going to spend a significant amount of money to get the job done right. You’ll begin to dive into the details about all the different types of heaters out there.

One type you’re sure to come across is forced air heating. Forced air heating means that the heater moves hot air through ductwork in your home to keep things comfortable during cold months. Read on to learn more about forced air heating and whether it’s the correct type of heating system for your home.

How Forced Air Heating Works

Forced air heating uses one of the following types of fuel to generate heat:

  • Electricity: This type of system uses high heat resistant wires to warm air as it passes through your ventilation system into individual rooms.
  • Gas: In this system, a gas ignition warms up a heat exchanger. That hot air then moves through your ductwork and into your home.
  • Propane: Essentially, this works like a gas heating system in the above example.

No matter the fuel source, once hot air is generated, it’s then pushed through your ductwork by a blower or fan controlled by a thermostat to your comfort level like other heating systems.

Pros of Forced Air Heating

  • Time: Forced air offers speedier heating time and delivery of hot air throughout your home. Since the air is warmed from the furnace and pushed into other areas of the house, it just needs to make it to where it’s the coldest to make the temperature rise. This means you’ll warm up faster than other types of heating systems you could choose on frigid days.
  • Cost-effective: Compared to radiant heaters, forced air heaters are more affordable, and heating installation is typically more straightforward than other types of systems.
  • Reliable: This type of heating system is most used during new construction because its ductwork is laid as a home is built. Contractors know how to install ductwork in ways that ensure proper heating throughout a home.

Cons of Forced Air Heating

  • Thermostat: One of the biggest cons is having one thermostat to control the temperature throughout the home compared to a ductless system. Wherever that thermostat is located will determine how hot or cold the whole house is – even if one room or other levels aren’t warm enough.
  • Ductwork: When ductwork leaks or fails, it can be a nightmare to repair, depending on where the issue is in your home. Hopefully, it’s in your attic or crawl space. However, if contractors need to get creative with laying ductwork during construction or installation, you may be looking at expensive labor costs to make heater repairs.
  • Noise: Forced air systems can be noisy, especially if something goes wrong. Leaky ductwork, duct compression, and poor noise insulation installed in your furnace can make a forced air system make sounds that startle you if you’re not used to them. The whole process of pushing air through your home makes enough noise as is. Eventually, you get used to it, but it may be too much for some families.

One other con of forced air heating systems is that your ductwork can make you sick. Now, don’t worry immediately about this. This is why duct cleaning is so vital for a forced air heating system. We’ll discuss that more below.

Forced Air Heating Maintenance

Like any other heating system, your home will need ongoing heating maintenance:

  • Air Filters: Like any other heating system, you need to replace your air filters regularly. Refer to your manufacturer’s guidelines and consider unique factors in your home, such as smoking or having pets, when creating an air filter replacement schedule. Keep up on this – you can wreck your forced air heating system if you fail to replace the filter timely
  • Duct Cleaning: Any home that uses ductwork and ventilation for heating needs to invest in regular duct cleaning to make sure that dirt, debris, mold, and other particles aren’t making their way through your ducts and into your lungs. Duct cleaning starts with an inspection of your ductwork and an action plan to tackle any issues seen in them. This includes deep cleaning your ductwork with a high-powered vacuum and compressed air to eliminate all the build-up from use throughout the year.
  • Heating Maintenance: Your heating system needs seasonal maintenance to make sure it’s running correctly. Aux Home Services’ Always Ready Plan has you covered with annual inspections, 24/7 on-call service if something goes wrong, and much, much more. By investing in our Always Ready Plan, you’ll never have to worry about your heater’s annual maintenance because we’ll be on top of it for you.

If you notice your forced air heating system isn’t warming your home effectively, call us today. Aux Home Services is here to help make sure your system is performing as efficiently as it should be. Our trained HVAC technicians will uncover the problem and make expert recommendations on repairing or replacing your system if something is wrong.

Waiting to get your forced air heater fixed could cause hundreds of thousands of dollars in replacement costs. So don’t delay if you think something is wrong.

Aux Home Services is Your Trusted Partner for Forced Air Heating

We’re you’re Birmingham partner for all things forced air heating. Call us today at 205-979-0946 or schedule service online. Aux Home Services knows the ins and outs of heating systems. Our heating experts will advise you on repair, replacement, or installation services once they understand what’s going on. Our recommendations are rooted in over 30 years of experience in Birmingham and the surrounding areas. Let Aux Home Services be your partner in all things heating.

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