The Benefits Of Forced Air Heating Systems
The forced air type is considered the most common
heating and cooling system. The main factors contributing to its being a popular choice by many people are its fast heat delivery, reliability, versatility and low installation cost. Versatility here refers to the systemís ability to be used for cooling apart from heating a home or building.
A forced air heating system works by using blowers to pull air from the rooms into the cold-air return duct to a filter and finally, into the furnace or
heat exchanger. It is in the furnace where air is heated after which it is blown back to the rooms through the warm-air ducts and registers. While in the furnace, the thermostat is normally turned on when air temperature drops below a set level. This then prompts the gas valve to regulate and provide fuel to burners and/or the pilot light. When this takes place, the burner inside the combustion chamber is then ignited thereby creating heat. With the older type of furnaces, heated air is brought back to the rooms by way of natural convection instead of a blower.
Furnaces are fueled by gas as well as oil, coal, wood and electricity. A conventional furnace makes use of natural gas which is piped to a burner located inside a combustion chamber. While in the chamber, gas is mixed with air then ignited by a pilot light, a spark or a similar device with thermostat control. As for electric forced-air furnaces, heating elements are used in the heat exchanger instead of burners.
The forced air heating system has its own advantages and disadvantages. Its major benefits are its low cost and its being the only distribution method that can be used for both heating and cooling. Also with this system, air may be filtered, humidified, dehumidified and its furnace can achieve the highest annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE).
On the other hand, this systemís disadvantages include the required ductwork which takes up space in walls, the furnace fan emits sound, the moving air can spread allergens and forced air needs to be filtered and regularly maintained.
Of course, any heating system has to be properly maintained to make it last long. The forced air heating systemís filter has to be cleaned or replaced every month when heating season is at its peak. Heat exchange surfaces need to brushed or vacuumed yearly. Power blades have to be cleaned too using motor oil before the start of the heating season while belt alignment and tension should be inspected and adjusted. Ducts need to be checked as well for possible leaks.
There are some steps you should take to ensure your home is provided with balanced heat. The dampers in the registers and/or warm-air ducts can be adjusted, the same with the fan control. The blower speed can also be increased to heat up cold rooms while you can leave the thermostat at one setting and operate the system for three hours to achieve stable temperatures. Finally, you can open the dampers wide in the coldest rooms and adjust the same in every room until you have balanced heat.