The Essential Differences Between The Most Common Central Heating Systems

The Essential Differences Between The Most Common Central Heating Systems

Key Takeaways:

  • The most common central heating systems are central air and forced air.
  • Central air is a heating system where the temperature is regulated by a thermostat located in the central area of the building. The ductwork then distributes the air uniformly throughout the home.
  • Forced air is a type of heating system where the air is heated by a furnace and then distributed through the house via ductwork.
  • There are several key differences between these two types of central heating systems, including the method of temperature regulation and how the air is distributed.

Keeping a comfortable temperature inside buildings is essential for the well-being of occupants. This is especially important in places where people congregate, such as offices, schools, and hospitals. Central air and forced air are standard systems used to achieve this goal.

Central air systems work by circulating air throughout a building using a system of ducts. The air is cooled or heated by a central unit before being distributed. Forced air systems also use ducts to circulate air, but the difference is that each room has its heating or cooling unit.

 In this blog post, Daigle Plumbing Heating & Cooling will discuss those differences so you can decide which system is best for your home.

What Are Central Heating Systems?

Central heating systems use a central furnace or boiler to heat the entire home. The heat is then distributed evenly throughout the house via ducts or pipes. Central air and forced air systems are the two most common types of central heating systems.

What Is a Forced Air System?

A forced air system is any device that warms air using ductwork, including a furnace or heat pump. Anything that forces air via ducts and vents may be said to be a forced air system. The ductwork in these systems carries the heated or cooled air to different rooms in your house.

This is generally accomplished using a blower, a device that helps move the air through the ducts.

What Is a Central Air System?

Central air conditioning is a system that removes warm air from your living spaces and replaces it with cool air that has been passed over cold coils. Central air conditioners are powered by a gas furnace or an electric heat pump. It circulates cold air through a system of ducts typically located in your attic or basement to keep your living spaces cool and comfortable.

What Are the Key Differences Between Forced and Central Air Systems?

  1. The primary difference between the two common types of systems is how they distribute air. In a forced air system, the air is blown through ducts to the different rooms in your house. This can often lead to uneven temperatures in different parts of the house. A central air system uses a network of ducts to distribute the evenly cooled or heated air throughout the house.
  2. Another key difference is how they are powered. A forced air system is powered by a furnace that uses natural gas, propane, oil, or electricity to heat the air. A central air system uses an air conditioner to cool the air.
  3. The third difference between the two systems is that central air uses a closed loop while forced air uses an open loop. A closed loop system means the air is constantly being cycled and filtered, so it’s always clean. An open loop system means that the air is only filtered when turned on, which could circulate dusty air throughout your home.
  4. A forced air system typically requires more maintenance than a central air system. This is due to the fact that a refrigeration unit may run for many years with little to no maintenance, but a furnace requires routine maintenance and replacement.
  5. Cost is another factor to consider when deciding between the two types of systems. Forced air systems generally cost less to install than central air systems. However, central air systems are often more energy-efficient so they may save you money in the long run.
  6. Finally, it’s important to note that forced air systems can be used for heating and cooling, while central air systems are only used for cooling. So, a forced air system might be the best option if you live in a climate with mild winters and hot summers.
What Are the Key Differences Between Forced and Central Air Systems?

Are Forced Air and Central Heat Safe?

Forced air and central heat systems are safe when installed and maintained correctly. They are designed with safety features integrated into the system to keep you safe and warm. Even though most forced air systems in houses only have one thermostat that may be used to raise or lower the temperature, the system is usually protected against overheating, melting, burning, or starting fires in the ductwork or appliances by many overheating sensors.

Despite these precautions, the forced air system might be viewed as harmful since it employs the blower of the central heating device, which burns fuels like oil or gas to produce heat. Additionally, forced air systems rely on a network of ducts to distribute heated or cooled air throughout your home. If these ducts are not properly sealed, they can leak harmful gases like carbon monoxide into your home.

Some people are also concerned about the cleanliness of the forced air passing through unclean ducts, even without the forced air’s potential to scorch and burn them. Dirty ducts could be a severe health hazard and should be professionally cleaned every few years.

On the other hand, central air is a lot cleaner because it doesn’t rely on forced air to circulate cooled or heated air throughout your home. Central air uses either a blower fan or an electric pump to move air through a system of ducts and vents.

Final Thought:

So, which system is the best for your home? The answer to that question will depend on various factors, including the size and layout of your house, the climate in your area, and your budget.

However, if you’re still unsure which system is right for you or have other questions about heating and cooling, Daigle Plumbing Heating & Cooling serving Windham can help! We are experts in installing and maintaining residential and commercial HVAC systems.

Get a free estimate today!