Have you ever wondered whether the forced air furnace in your Calgary home is the best way to keep your family warm through the winter? The fact is, forced air heat is very popular here in the local area and works well, but you may prefer another solution if your home has no duct system or if you don’t need central air.
Forced Air Heating and Central Cooling
Forced air systems are technically both heating and cooling systems, but generally the term “forced air” is most closely associated with the heating portion. A forced air system pushes or forces conditioned (artificially heated or cooled) air via ducts throughout the house.
“Central air” refers specifically to the cooling (or what most people call the “air conditioning”) part of the forced air system. Both parts of the system are technically “central” because they heat/cool air in a central location, then force or distribute it via ductwork. Forced air furnaces may be fueled by gas, oil or electricity, while the A/C (cooling) portion requires electricity.
Pros and cons of forced air heating
- Simple installation to add central A/C: In homes with forced air furnaces (and required duct system) it’s easy to add cooling capacity. Cooled air is distributed through the same ducts in season.
- Fast heat-up: Forced air creates/distributes heat quickly.
- Energy efficiency: The thermostat controls the powering on and shutting off of the system extremely effectively.
- Filtration: It’s incorporated into the system.
- Maintenance: Forced air heating requires regular maintenance (changing air filters, duct and heat source maintenance) for best performance.
- Noise: As the thermostat cycles forced air systems on/off, sound travels through vents.
- Operating costs: While upfront pricing of forced air heat is comparatively inexpensive, natural gas and oil pricing can be costly long-term. An older forced air system can be expensive to repair.
- Inconsistent (non-uniform) home heating: Expect hot or cold spots near vents.
For professional advice or service for your forced air furnace, contact Arpi’s Industries, Ltd. We’ve proudly served the home comfort needs of our local area for the past 50 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Calgary, Alberta about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about forced air furnaces and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide. Image courtesy of Shutterstock