A Forced Air Furnace: A Good Choice for Your Home?
Even though most of us likely grew up in a home heated by a forced air furnace, we tend to take them for granted, since they operate behind the scenes – in a basement or laundry room – and do their work (relatively) quietly. But how does a forced air furnace work? Here’s a quick explanation.
- A forced air furnace turns on when the thermostat indicates that room temperature has dropped below a desired level.
- Using a blower with a fan and motor, the system draws air from rooms through the ductwork of the cold air return and into the air handler. The blower pushes cool air into the metal chamber of the heat exchanger, where air flows around burners aflame from combusted gas or heating oil (or an electric heating element in the less common electric furnace).
- Heated air is then forced through a network of ducts and registers and back into your home. The cycle continues until the set temperature is reached.
- Meanwhile, an air filter mounted in the return ductwork, usually near the furnace, removes particles from recycled cold air. In combustion furnaces, a flue vents any gases produced.
- Although a forced air furnace requires regular maintenance, including filter, ductwork, venting and heat source maintenance, they are usually reliable, high-performance appliances. In addition, these systems have several, significant advantages.
- They quickly heat up your entire home, although there may be some variation depending on distance from registers or vents.
- Modern condensing furnaces are more than 90 percent efficient, and with the cost of natural gas relatively low these days, gas furnaces are among the cheapest ways to heat a home. Using a programmable thermostat will only add to overall efficiency.
- They allow for easy installation of central air conditioning, using the same vents and ductwork (and often, the blower), and eliminate the need for an additional filtration system.
- Although some decent alternatives do exist, forced air furnaces are popular for a very good reason: they quickly, efficiently and reliably maintain your home’s comfort during the winter.
For more expert advice about heating and cooling your home, contact us at Sobieski Service today. Our goal is to help educate our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC & plumbing systems).
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