Wondering what’s better, forced air vs central air?
While they are similar, they both have their unique differences. Find out what makes central air conditioning and forced-air systems unique below.
Let’s get started.
What is Forced Air?
“Forced air system” is used to describe the heating system, usually furnaces or heat pumps.
The air handler forces air through the ductwork in your home and to the rooms inside your home.
Forced air systems use ductwork, vents, and plenums to distribute the air through your home.
Forced air heating systems are more common in North America and much less common in Europe where they typically use hydronic heating like hot water radiators.
What is Central Air?
“Central air” is what most people in America are familiar with, central air conditioning.
Central air conditioning removes the heat in the air by passing the warm air over evaporator coils and then distributing the cold air to your home.
The left over hot air is exhausted outside and is typically a “split system” with both an indoor and outdoor unit.
The condenser and compressor are located in the outdoor unit while the cooling coils are housed inside the metal box inside the air handler.
The split system works in tandem to cool down the air, distribute it throughout the ductwork in your home and exhaust the hot air outside.
Forced Air VS Central Air: Which is Better?
Central air conditioning will be able to cool down your home while a forced-air (heat pump or furnace) system is only capable of heating.
Your central air conditioner utilizes the forced air system inside of your home, including the ductwork and vents.
You can have a furnace (forced-air) hooked up to the same system as your central air conditioner.
One advantage that central air conditioning has over forced air is that if it uses a heat pump, it can heat and cool down your home all in one system.
If you only need to heat, then you’ll be fine with a forced-air system.
If you want the convenience of heating and cooling all in one system, then go with a central air conditioner.
If you do want to filter or dehumidify the air, a forced heating system will be able to do that, which is a benefit over central air conditioning systems.
Need help installing your new HVAC system? Speak with our licensed HVAC technicians who can help guide you on whether a furnace or central air conditioner is right for your home.