Choosing the Best Forced Air Heating System for Your Home



In this article, we’ll be looking at the elements of forced air heating systems, and how to choose the best one for your home. Below is a brief list of elements that are important to understand when looking to buy a heating system, so you can make an informed decision.



What is Forced Air Heating?

If you’re like most homeowners, you probably have a heater in your living room, a space that you spend a considerable amount of time in. If it’s not working properly, or if the thermostat is set too high for comfort, then you might feel cold and drafty.

While forced air heating systems are primarily used to heat buildings, they’re also effective at warming spaces that are colder than the average room temperature. There are several different ways that forced air heating systems can keep your home toasty warm during the winter months. The most common form is called radiant heat; this type of heating system uses hot-air ducts to circulate warm air around your home.

However, radiant heat isn’t the only way to heat your home with forced air. In fact, there are also ductless mini-split systems that use wall and ceiling units to distribute heat into your space with little or no ductwork. There’s also a more conventional forced air heating system known as central (or baseboard) heaters, which use the same hot-air ducts you’ll find in radiant heat systems; these work nicely for rooms where you don’t need as much heating power.

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You may be wondering, “Which type of forced air heating system is best for me?” and “How much should I spend on my new system?” To help answer these questions, let’s take a look at the different types of forced air heating systems, how they work, and what they cost.

What Types of Forced Air Heating Systems Are There?

What types of forced air heating systems are there
What types of forced air heating systems are there

There are many different types of forced air heating systems, which fall into three general categories. The first category is radiant heating. A radiant system uses hot-air ducts to distribute warm air around a room. The amount of hot air that’s distributed depends on the thermostat sensitivity of the unit.

The second type is ductless mini-split systems. These also use hot-air ducts, but unlike radiant heating systems, they don’t require ductwork to distribute heat. Instead, they use wall and ceiling units instead. The third type is central heating, which uses hot-air ducts and other components of radiant heat systems; this is the most common form of forced air heating system.



1.Radiant System Types

Radiant system types
Radiant system types

Radiant-type forced air heating systems are relatively simple in design. They use hot-air ducts that are connected to convectors or ceiling units, which in turn heat up the air and distribute it around your home. The amount of warm air that’s distributed depends on the thermostat sensitivity of the unit.

Some radiant forced air systems use a thermostat with a digital readout that tells you how much heat you’re using; however, these systems don’t work as well in colder climates because they require higher thermostat settings.

2.Ductless Mini Split Systems

Ductless mini split systems
Ductless mini split systems

A ductless mini-split system uses ceiling and wall units instead of ducting to distribute warm air; that air is then distributed around your home by fan. This type of forced air heating system is popular in warmer climates, where it’s easier to install. The system is very energy efficient, requiring much less electricity than duct-based systems. One advantage of this type of forced air heating system is that it can be installed anywhere you choose; there are no restrictions since there are no ducts involved. Flexible ductless mini-split systems are popular in homes that have high ceilings, so you can install as many units as you want.

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3.Floor-Cased Units

Floor cased units
Floor cased units

Floor-cased forced air heating systems are the most popular type of ductless system in North America. They involve a central floor unit and one or more wall units that function like radiators, circulating warm air throughout your entire house. The system can be easily customized to fit in all types of homes, from large homes to apartments to cottage models. The heat is distributed via ceiling piping and floor ducts that are installed over the entire room rather than just under the carpeting on the floor. This type of furnace is the most efficient – there is no wasted heat from the floor or ceiling that doesn’t make it to where it’s being used.

4.Return Air Ducts

Return air ducts
Return air ducts

A return air duct brings fresh air back into the furnace. It’s located in a hallway or bedroom near an outside wall and vents through a register at floor level, out of your living space. These may be screened and decorative, or they may be small, square, round or oval metal tubes. They are just as important as supply ducts in ensuring that your system functions properly.

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Heating System Components

Heating system components
Heating system components

There are several components that make up a forced air heating system. The first is a furnace, which is responsible for heating and cooling the air. These typically have oil, gas or electric motors and circulate hot air using room-to-room ducts and convectors. Central heating systems use the same technology, required by the EPA to meet efficiency standards.

Another component is a thermostat; it’s used to control the amount of heat that’s distributed by an entire unit or from one unit to another in your home. Thermostats come in many different models and types, each with its own purpose. Some thermostats can be programmed to automatically adjust the temperature on your forced air heating system; these are called automated or digital thermostats. Others can simply be adjusted up and down; these are called manual or dial thermostats.

Third, there’s a fan that moves the air throughout a building using an electric motor; this is a supplemental component required for efficient operation of your forced air heating system. Fans are also used for forced circulation of hot-air ducts when installing radiant heat systems.

Other components include ductwork, insulation materials and furnaces made with fire-resistant materials, such as ceramic fiberglass or stainless steel.

How to Choose The Best One for Your Home

How to choose the best one for your home
How to choose the best one for your home

The easiest way to decide which type of forced air heating system is right for your home is to evaluate how much space you have and what kind of features you want in your current system. For instance, ductless mini-split systems are ideal for homes with high ceilings, whereas floor-cased forced air systems work well in spaces with lower ceilings.



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