What is Forced Air?

Many homes have a forced air heat system. Forced air refers to air that is pushed or forced through the heating system to provide warmth. These systems always have a furnace, blower, ducts and room vents.

The Furnace Makes the Heat

Furnaces normally use natural gas or electricity to provide heat. The heat provided by a natural gas furnace is transferred to the air via a heat exchanger. The fumes from the burning of the natural gas is kept separate from the air in the system, but the heat is transferred to the air. Electric furnaces use an electric heat element to produce heat directly into the air stream. Electric heat elements use a coil of resistance wire. This wire gets hot when electricity flows through it.

The Blower Forces the Air

The blower moves the air in a forced air system. Blowers have an electric motor that is usually less than one horsepower. If the rotating shaft of the motor is directly connected to rotating fins, it is referred to as direct drive. If the motor shaft is connected to the fins via a belt and wheels, it is referred to as belt drive.

Air Flows Through the System

As the air flows through the system, it pass through the electric heat element or heat exchanger, which warms the air. The air then flows through the ducts. The duct system branches to individual vents throughout the home. Air is also drawn from the home by the blower using the duct system known as the return. The return removes air from the living space and into the heat system to the blower to complete the cycle.

Forced Air Compared to Other Systems

Forced air systems are very common, although some homes in the north do not use forced air systems. Examples of heating systems that are not forced air include electric and hot water baseboard heat and gravity heat. Electric baseboard heat uses resistance wire in the baseboard in each room to heat the surrounding air which flows by convection into the room. Water baseboard heat works the same way but instead uses pumped hot water heated by natural gas or boiler. Gravity systems use a furnace in a lower level of the home, allowing heat to rise through ducts into the floors above.

Contact Complete Air Mechanical for AC and Heating Service

When your home or business is in need of some AC help, you can trust Complete Air Mechanical to deliver all the services you need. Contact us today and our team of expert mechanics will quickly and efficiently solve even the most difficult of heating and AC problems.