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Here’s What to Know About Central vs. Forced Air Systems


Bob’s Heating & Air Conditioning Explains the Essential Differences Between the Most Common Central Heating Systems

Central air or forced air, that is the question…or something along those lines was penned by Shakespeare, right? 

All jokes aside, many of our customers ask about the difference between these two terms in reference to home heating systems, so we’ve decided to elaborate on the subject in our latest blog. Once you’re done reading, you’ll know the critical differences and similarities between the two and understand who can help you determine the best fit for your Sammamish, WA, home. Keep scrolling to learn more!

SEE ALSO: Don’t Tank Your Energy Savings with Conventional Water Heaters

Central Air vs. Forced Air

Generally, central air refers to your cooling system, while forced air refers to the heating system. 

A forced air system uses a duct and vent configuration to send air into spaces throughout your home, and the term can sometimes reference an included furnace or heat pump that forces heated air through those ducts. The forced air originates from inside your home. Compared to radiant heating, the installation is less costly and has fewer working parts to worry about breaking down or requiring service. If you already have a system, then a heating component can typically get added for a lower cost than a standalone heating system.

Because the air is physically pushing through the ducts, there may be some ambient noise and a potential risk for mold, allergens, and duct leaks. These issues are common when you ignore routine maintenance, so staying on top of your scheduled service is essential!

A central air system utilizes ducts, plenums, and vents as well. The system uses the air in the home, heats it via a connected unit - typically found outdoors - then blows it through the vents to heat or cool your home. 

So the difference between forced air and central air is actually quite specific and can often be overlooked, even by those in the HVAC industry! Ultimately, you’ll need a forced air system alongside the central heating and cooling system to send heated or conditioned air throughout your living spaces.

What Does My Home Need?

Our professional team of heating and air specialists can help you select the best-suited climate comfort system for your home so that the entire family is comfortable. If you’re renovating your current heating and cooling systems, we’ll assess your home, the type of system you currently have, and what steps we need to take to upgrade your home's heating. We have a blank canvas to work with if you're building a new home and our new construction division can help!

Just like we can help homeowners determine how much AC they need, we can do the same with your heating. Ultimately, we'll go in-depth with every detail and discuss your budget so there are no surprises.

Bob is Your Heating & Cooling System Partner

To call Bob or not to call Bob, is it still a question at this point? 

Bob’s has proudly served the Puget Sound region as its largest residential HVAC contractor since 1957. We’re dedicated to bringing best-in-class heating and cooling services to homes just like yours, so call us at 800-840-3346 or fill out our contact form here to start discussing your home’s comfort system needs. We look forward to hearing from you.

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