Forced-air systems are the most common way to heat homes in the U.S. Knowing a little about how your forced-air system works to heat your Kansas City area home will help you troubleshoot problems with your system, as well as communicate effectively with your HVAC professional in the event service is needed on your system.
How your forced-air system works
Forced-air systems have four main components. It all starts with the thermostat. During the heating mode, when the air temperature in your home is lower than that of the thermostat setting, your system kicks on. In the case of a furnace, its air handler, found in the blower compartment between the furnace and the cold-air return, draws cold air into the furnace’s heat exchanger, where it’s heated by a gas-fueled burner or electric heating element. In a heat pump, the air handler is usually, but not always, a stand-alone blower cabinet. Warm air from the furnace or heat pump is blown through the ductwork and into your rooms.
Other components of a forced-air system help maintain the furnace, heat pump or A/C, as well as control how the air enters a room.
- The air filter traps particles such as dust, dust mites and pollen to prevent them from building up on components of your system, which can cause the unit to operate inefficiently and damage its internal operation. It’s important to check the filter every month and replace it when it’s dirty.
- The registers in each of your rooms control the direction of the airflow into the room, allowing for optimum distribution of the warm (or cold) air. While blocking the air to certain rooms by closing the register can help save energy costs, closing more than 20 percent of your registers can reduce the efficiency of your system by disrupting the balanced distribution of air.
For more expert advice on how your forced-air system works, or for information about other issues related to home comfort, please contact us at LBA Air Conditioning, Heating, Plumbing & Electrical, serving the Kansas City area 24/7 with a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Kansas City, Kansas 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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