Forced-Air Furnace – You Have One, but What Does That Mean?

Forced-Air Furnace – You Have One, but What Does That Mean?

You might have just purchased a new home or have renovated your current one, and now own a forced-air furnace. But what are they, and why are they so popular?

Furnaces share a similar design between them, although traditional models use convection to provide heat to your home. This means that it takes advantage of hot air’s tendency to rise, but the size of the furnace does increas with the size of the space. Forced-air systems use an air handler that contains a blower to push the hot air through ductwork to the rest of your home. They come in three variations: upflow (for furnaces located in the basement), downflow (for attic furnaces), and horizontal (for ranch-style houses and single-level apartments). This provides a more even distribution of heat throughout the house.

Forced-air systems operate with two sets of ductwork, which function much like your veins and arteries. One set branches away from the furnace, delivering warm air to each room in your home. The other set brings cool air back from each room to the furnace. Because of this natural circulatory system, it can be easy to install central air-conditioning. These forced-air systems use thermostats to automatically shut off at a desired temperature, whether cold or hot, saving you an additional cost.

There are several types of systems, and yours may include one or more of the following features:

  • gas, electric, or hybrid power source
  • heat pump
  • digital thermostats
  • dehumidifier
  • fresh air system
  • central air conditioning

Depending on the type, your system may be extra-quiet or less expensive to run than other varieties. Installing a forced-air system is relatively simple, although it does require running the ducts through walls. Once installed, maintenance and cleaning are both relatively quick. Forced-air systems also allow you to keep much better control over air quality throughout the home.

Operating a forced-air furnace has been proven to be more efficient and cost-effective than using traditional furnaces. They are found in nearly 35 million homes across the U.S. For additional information on the benefits of a forced-air furnace or other issues related to your home comfort, please feel free to contact us.

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