A forced-air heating system has a network of ducts, vents, and plenums and it distributes hot air in the entire area. The supply plenum carries the air from the return plenum unit where vents had deposited the used air to the rooms again after it is reheated. A forced-air heating system comprises an air filter and an air blower. Hot air is used to heat rooms instead of hot water.
There are coils that become extremely hot and dissipate heat to the air. These vents carry the same air to the different parts of the home, office, or industrial unit. There are thermostats that regulate the entire system.
In this technology, the air is used as a heat transfer medium. The good part of this technique is that the ducts are concealed inside crawlspaces or walls or under attics.
Forced air heating systems are extremely popular in North America and almost all the households across all the 51 states use them to keep the inmates warm during the cold months. In Europe, the central heating systems are regulated by hydronic heating techniques.
Functioning of a fan forced-air heating system
Forced air heating systems produce heat through multiple fuels like propane (which is the main ingredient of LPG), natural gas. We can even use electricity for the functioning of the forced-air heating systems, however, it will not be very cost-efficient. The moving air captivates heat from the heat-producing unit in the exchanger. If the technology uses an electric furnace, there are coils that warm up first and start dissipating heat.
Then the moving air pulls in the heat from this atmosphere. A fan or blower will circulate this hot air into all the rooms in your apartment. You can control the temperature inside the home using a regulator which is known as a thermostat.
How to operate a forced-air heating system
A single regulator or thermostat regulates the entire forced-air heating system in a small apartment or office. If you turn on the system, then the furnace fan will start forcing air through the heat exchanger. This in turn will circulate hot air through all the ducts in the entire apartment area. There are registers on the ceiling and other places which can adjust the direction and amount of hot air flow just like the adjustable registers in-car ACs.
If you have set the temperature to 18 degrees Celsius, once the room reaches that temperature, the ignition will automatically switch off. This is done to stop overheating and discomfort to the inmates. Again when the temperature starts falling, the thermostat will regulate the ignition and it will turn on again.
The benefits of using forced air heating systems
There are multiple reasons for forced-air heating systems being the most popular choice in the United States. Let’s look at some of the reasons here-
1. Energy efficient-
Forced air heating systems use propane or natural gas which are extremely energy-efficient and inexpensive. It is good for the environment as the carbon footprinting is much lesser in them.
2. Heating time
If you were out in freezing cold atmosphere and came home for some warmth, you will not have to wait for long. The moment the thermostat is turned on, the hot air starts blowing out almost immediately. It is much faster than many other central heating systems which use water to heat up or other technologies.
3. Easy Installation Process
Apartment owners always look for furniture and gadgets which are easy to install and they do not need to break the walls or damage the ceiling. If you have the ductwork done for the air-conditioning system, a forced air heating system can use the same infrastructure. Hence there will be minimal invasions and improvisations to the walls and ceiling.
Unlike radiant heaters, forced air heating systems are extremely efficient, yet extremely easy to install.
As discussed earlier, forced air heating systems are extremely energy efficient and hence your utility bills will remain almost the same. The maintenance cost too is quite low and the price of the entire unit is much lesser than many other types of heating systems available in the United States. Radiant heating systems are much more expensive compared to forced-air heating systems.
The heating systems that use heat pumps or electricity break down much faster than forced air heating systems. Hence you will have lesser nights without a heating system and you will spend lesser time and money getting your heating system repaired.
Since the ducts are durable and this heating system does not use too many pieces of machinery, it is much more reliable than many other heating systems available in the market.
Do not allow the air filter to get clogged. If you want your forced-air heating system to work seamlessly, then change the air filter every month. You may choose to clean it too if you are familiar with the process, but do not allow it to remain dirty and clogged.
The flip side of using forced air heating systems
Now since you got to know the pros of this type of heating system, you should know the cons too.
1. Health risks
Since the same air is circulated throughout the home, if someone is unwell, then the bacteria or virus will be circulated along with the air. Mold, dust particles, and other microorganisms will be carried throughout the home through the air which gets circulated through the forced air system.
2. Noise pollution
When the air gets pushed through the ducts, it does create some amount of noise. Hence if you have a light sleep, you might be disturbed by the noise. However, since the noise is consistent, most of people get used to it.
A heating system is one of the most important features of a good home. Beautiful looking home with poor air-conditioning or heating system becomes completely unappealing to the residents. You might remember instances when you decided to move out of an apartment because it did not have a proper heating system.
After a hard day’s work when we come home, we need a hot bath and hot food. After we spend some time with our respective families, we need a warm bed with a proper heating system to keep us warm and cozy throughout the night. If these basic needs are not met, we start looking for other apartments soon. So enjoy the winters with a warm bowl of soup underneath your blanket with your loved ones!!!