Forced air is used to heat many modern homes, but it's not the only style of heating available. Boiler systems and electric baseboard heating also exist, though they have fewer followers than forced air. It's possible that forced air is the right choice for your home, but you should not simply assume this without first doing your research. Before jumping on the forced air bandwagon, be sure to consider the pros and cons of this style of heating system.
Pros of Forced Air
Forced air heating is the most common type of heating system in North America. Because of this popularity, you should have an easy time finding a contractor to install and maintain yours. In fact, you'll likely have your choice of contractors in your area. Boiler systems and electric baseboard heating are less popular, so you may not have as many contractors to choose from, and those who do work on these types of systems may charge higher prices simply because they have less competition.
The other benefit of forced air heating is that it's easy to include an air conditioning unit in the same system. In the winter, your furnace blows hot air through the ducts, and in the summer, your air conditioner utilizes those same ducts to cool the home. If you choose another type of heating system, you'll have to have a separate air conditioner installed, which may increase your costs.
Cons of Forced Air
Though forced air heating systems might be cheaper initially, they are not the most energy-efficient. Boiler systems – in particular, those that are set up to provide radiant heat through the floor – use up to 30% less energy than forced air systems.
Forced air systems are also not a wise choice for people with allergies. Dust and mold spores can make their way into the ducts and be circulated through the home. If someone in your family has allergies, you'll have to put a lot of effort into keeping your forced air system clean through regular duct cleanings and frequent changing of the filters. Boiler systems and baseboard electric heating, on the other hand, don't perpetuate allergies in this manner.
For many people, the lower startup cost and ease of finding a contractor make forced air heating systems the right choice. However, if you have allergies or are worried about conserving energy, you might be better off considering a different style of heating for your home. For more information, contact an HVAC company like Ice Age Mechanical.Share