At Bears Home Solutions, our expert technicians install and maintain a variety of home heating systems to keep families safe and comfortable in the winter. Among the most common types of heating equipment we service every day are forced air heating systems.
As the name suggests, forced air heating systems use air to deliver heat to every room in a home through intricate webs of ductwork. But the air does not magically warm up on its own – the heat must first be generated in a furnace.
Forced air heating systems are popular because they are efficient, affordable, and compatible with central air conditioners. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of heating your home with a forced air heating system and how to keep your equipment in top shape for years to come. First, let’s explain how furnaces provide consistent heat in your home during the winter.
Like any other heating system, furnaces need fuel to generate heat. Whether it is natural gas, propane, electricity, or oil, the fuel ignites the internal burner and heats up air that is pulled in from the outdoors through a return duct. Once the air is warm, a blower forces it through supply air ductwork to every room in a home (hence the term “forced air”). A furnace runs until it creates enough heat to meet the temperature set on the thermostat.
Think of a central heating system like the circulation system in the human body: the thermostat is the brain that controls the furnace; the furnace is the heart that heats and pumps the air; and ductwork is the network of veins that delivers the heat to your kitchen, living room, or bedroom. Forced air systems are specifically calibrated to circulate heat in every room of your home, so keep all your vents open for maximum efficiency.
Benefits of Forced Air Heating Systems
While electric and hydronic heating systems take time to generate heat, furnaces work quickly to circulate warmth throughout your home, sometimes within a matter of minutes. Every furnace has an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) score that measures how efficiently the equipment generates usable heat per year. High-efficiency furnaces have an AFUE score of 90% or above, especially new models that incorporate the latest technological advances in the heating industry.
You can further improve the efficiency of a forced air heating system by installing a programmable thermostat, sealing your ductwork with Aeroseal, changing your air filters regularly, and staying up to date on your annual service appointments.
Indoor Air Quality
Although heating is their primary function, forced air systems help maintain good indoor air quality because they have air filters that trap dust, dander, viruses, bacteria, and other airborne pathogens. For extra air protection and comfort, you can install air purifiers, humidifiers, and dehumidifiers directly into the existing ductwork to ensure your family is breathing the cleanest, healthiest air possible.
Compared to radiant heating systems, forced air systems are less expensive to install. Additionally, most furnaces in the Midwest use natural gas, which is a clean, accessible, and economical fuel for homeowners throughout the region. Another way to keep heating costs down is to schedule regular maintenance for your equipment with a certified heating and cooling technician.
Furnace and Ductwork Maintenance
Like any central heating or cooling system, your furnace and ductwork only work effectively if they are inspected by a certified technician at least once a year. Forced air heating systems have a lot of moving parts that need to be tuned up, cleaned, or sometimes replaced, and the sooner minor issues are caught, the better your heating system will perform. Signing up for a maintenance program like Bear Care keeps your inspections up to date and ensures your system stays in tip-top shape.