Columbus, GA



Columbus, GA

What Is Forced Air Heating?

forced air heating

If you’re a Montgomery, Alabama resident looking to keep your home warm during the chilly winter months, you’ve probably heard about forced air heating. But what exactly is forced air heating, and how does it work to keep your living space cozy and comfortable? 

In this easy-to-understand blog, Dixie Heating, Plumbing & Air will break down the basics of forced air heating systems, including gas and electric furnaces, and explain why they’re a popular choice for homeowners in the Montgomery area.

Understanding Forced Air Heating

Forced air heating is a type of heating system that uses a furnace to heat air and then distributes that warm air throughout your home via a network of ducts and vents. It’s a widely popular method to keep homes warm because of its effectiveness and efficiency. 

Dive in with Dixie to understand the key components and working principles of forced air heating systems.

The Furnace: Heart of the System

At the core of any forced air heating system is the furnace. Furnaces can be powered by either natural gas, liquid propane, home heating oil, or electricity.

  • Gas Furnace: A gas furnace ignites natural gas or liquid propane to produce heat. When the thermostat detects that the temperature has dropped below your desired setting, it signals the furnace to kick in. The gas burners inside the furnace ignite, heating up a metal heat exchanger. As air from your home flows over the heat exchanger, it gets heated and blown into your ductwork by a powerful fan. This warm air is then distributed throughout your home via the ducts and vents.
  • Oil Fired Furnace: An oil furnace is like a gas furnace yet includes the added step of vaporizing the oil into a fine mist mixed with air. The oil/air fuel mixture is then used to ignite burners inside a combustion chamber.
  • Electric Furnace: In contrast, an electric furnace uses electric heating elements to generate warmth. When the thermostat calls for heat, electricity flows through these elements, heating them up. A fan then blows air over the heated elements, warming it before sending it into the ducts for distribution.

The Ductwork: Air Highway

Ductwork acts as the highway for warm air to travel throughout your home. It consists of a system of metal or plastic pipes that connect to the furnace and lead to vents in various rooms. The warm air from the furnace is forced into these ducts and then carried to every part of your house. Properly designed and maintained ductwork ensures that the heated air is evenly distributed, keeping every room comfortable.

The Thermostat: Temperature Controller

The thermostat is like the commander of your heating system. It allows you to set the desired temperature for your home. When the temperature drops below your set point, the thermostat sends a signal to the furnace to start producing heat. Once the desired temperature is reached, the thermostat tells the furnace to stop. This ensures that your home stays at a comfortable temperature without constantly running the furnace.

Montgomery, Alabama experiences low winter temperatures, making a reliable heating system essential to help with those chilly nights. Forced air heating systems have several advantages that make them a preferred choice for many Montgomery residents.

Quick Warm Up

Forced air heating systems can quickly raise the temperature in your home. When you arrive home on a cold winter day, you don’t want to wait for your house to warm up. With forced air heating, you can start feeling cozy in no time.

Even Heat Distribution

Properly designed ductwork ensures that warm air is distributed evenly throughout your home. This means that every room will be at a consistent and comfortable temperature, avoiding cold spots.

Energy Efficiency

Forced air heating systems can be highly energy-efficient, especially if you have a modern, well-maintained furnace. Many models come with energy-saving features and high-efficiency ratings, which can help you save on your heating bills over time.


Forced air heating systems can also be adapted for cooling in the hot Montgomery summers. By adding a central air conditioning unit and utilizing the same ductwork, you can enjoy year-round comfort with a single system.

Ease of Control

Modern forced air heating systems often come with programmable thermostats that allow you to set heating schedules based on your daily routine. This level of control can help you further reduce energy consumption and save on heating costs.

Choosing the Right Forced Air Heating System

When it comes to selecting a forced air heating system for your Montgomery area home, there are a few factors to consider:

Fuel Type: Decide whether you prefer a gas furnace or an electric furnace. Gas furnaces are generally more cost-effective in areas with access to natural gas, but electric furnaces can be a good option if you don’t have access to gas.

Efficiency: Look for a furnace with a high efficiency rating (AFUE – Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency for gas furnaces and HSPF – Heating Seasonal Performance Factor for electric furnaces). Higher ratings indicate better efficiency and lower operating costs.

Size: Ensure that your furnace is appropriately sized for your home. An oversized or undersized furnace can lead to energy waste and discomfort. A Dixie HVAC technician can help you determine the right size for your home.

Maintenance: Regular maintenance is crucial to keep your forced air heating system running smoothly. Consider a maintenance plan with Dixie Heating, Plumbing & Air to ensure your system stays in top shape.

Dixie Heating, Plumbing & Air has trained Comfort Specialists ready to help you choose the best forced air heating system for your home. Schedule an appointment today.

Stay Warm This Winter with Dixie

Forced air heating is a popular and effective type of heating system for your Montgomery area home. When selecting a forced air heating system, make sure to consider factors like fuel type, efficiency, size, and maintenance to ensure you choose the right system for your home.

By understanding how forced air heating works and its benefits, you can make an informed decision and keep your Montgomery home warm and comfortable during the winter months. 

To help with selecting, installing, or maintaining your forced air heating system, schedule an in-home consultation with a Dixie Heating, Plumbing & Air Comfort Specialist. 

For expert guidance and service just call Dixie, and it’s done!