Your Forced-Air System: Are You Familiar With How It Works?

Your Forced-Air System: Are You Familiar With How It Works?

Jan 24, 2013

A ducted forced-air system is the type you’ll find in most Florida homes, with a furnace and air conditioner or an air-source heat pump used for both heating and cooling. While there are variations in how these systems work, the basics are fairly simple. Getting familiar with how your system heats and cools can help you stay on top of any problems. Here are the basics of a forced-air system.

  • Thermostat — This regulates your home’s temperature by turning the heating or cooling on and off as needed.
  • Air handler — Housed in the furnace or the heat pump, this component contains the blower fan that moves conditioned air through the ductwork.
  • Heating method — In a fuel-burning or electric-resistance heating system, air is heated as it flows through the air handler. A fuel-burning system uses a burner, combustion chamber and heat exchanger. An electric-resistance system uses heating elements. In a heat pump system, the outdoor compressor/condenser unit draws heat from the outdoor air and moves the heat indoors via refrigerant lines connected to the air handler.
  • Cooling method — In a system with an air conditioner, a fan draws air into the outdoor condenser, where the air is cooled with liquid refrigerant. Cooled air is then pulled into the house by the fan in the indoor air handler. A heat pump moves warmth from the indoor air and releases it outside.
  • Duct system — Delivery air ducts supply the rooms in your home with heated air. Return air ducts take conditioned air back to the air handler.

A forced-air system can be enhanced with air cleaners and/or a dehumidifier, which help to remove contaminants such as mold, dust and dander from the air. Cleaner air makes breathing easier for anyone who has respiratory problems.

Have questions about your forced-air system? Contact us at Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions. Since 1969, we’ve been providing first-class HVAC services throughout the Orlando and Merritt Island areas.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about forced air systems and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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