Pros And Cons Of Forced Air Vs. Central Air

Forced Air vs. Central Air: What’s the Difference? (Pros and Cons)

With endless HGTV-style shows about flipping houses and preserving historical detail, more and more buyers are choosing to purchase older homes. It’s easy to see why. Old homes have:

  • History ๐Ÿ—ฟ
  • Character ๐ŸŽญ
  • Great bones ๐Ÿฆด
  • Excellent resale value, if done right ๐Ÿ’ฐ

What old homes typically don’t have, though? Air conditioning.

When you want to bring your home to the 21st century, it is important to invest in a high-quality HVAC system that will keep your home’s temperature regulated all year long. However, when it comes to choosing an HVAC system, there tends to be one debate among homeowners that has no answer.

Forced air vs. central air.

While both models offer benefits, it is important to do your research and choose the system that fits your needs and budget. That’s where we come in!

We’ve done the research for you and compiled it all together to help you choose the style that’s right for you. Keep reading to learn more!

What Is Forced Air?

“What is forced air” is a difficult question to answer because there are two definitions. There is the very technical definition and then the one that most people think of when they refer to forced air.

Technically speaking, a forced air system is any heating and cooling system that blows air into your home via ducts and vents. However, when most people talk about forced air, they are only thinking of a heating system.

Typically, modern models of forced air systems will use electricity to power a heat source that warms the air. A powerful fan then pushes the air through the system.

What Is Central Air?

technician fixing the air conditioning on the ceiling

Central air is what most people think of when they think of a modern HVAC system. While the technical definition of a forced air system can include both heating and cooling systems, central air only includes an air conditioner.

Your central AC system typically relies on an outdoor unit that pulls cool air into your home. It is then dispersed through your ducts and vents.

Forced Air vs. Central Air: Pros and Cons

In some ways, comparing forced air vs. central air is like comparing apples and oranges. They both have a unique set of pros and cons that makes them difficult to compare. However, if you are looking to get a comprehensive look at the benefits each kind can offer, keep reading!

Forced Air

Forced air systems are typically the best choice for homeowners who live in a climate with varying temperatures.

โœ… Pros

  • Heating and Cooling System – Forced air gives you the best of both worlds in the sense that it can both heat and cool your home.
  • Affordability – In general, forced air systems can be fairly affordable to install, provided your home already has ducts installed.
  • Energy Efficient – Modern systems are very energy efficient and can help you save money in the long run.
  • Clean Air – Your forced air system will have an air filter that can trap dust and other particles that irritate your allergies.

โŒ Cons

  • Cost – If you are looking to install a heating system as well as a cooling system, it can quickly add up. That number becomes bigger when you factor in adding ducts.
  • Carbon Monoxide Risk – If you choose a model that uses gas to power it, you run the risk of creating a carbon monoxide leak in your home.
  • Inconsistencies – If you are using existing ductwork, it is possible that your heating and cooling will be inconsistent throughout your home.

Central Air

Central air systems are optimal for generally warm climates, where the only temperature change you need is cooling.

โœ… Pros

  • Doesn’t Take Up Indoor Space – Because central air systems typically make use of an outdoor unit, you don’t have to worry about making space for your central air system inside your home.
  • Cost Effective – Since you only need to use your central air system in hot weather, you may save money by not running it year-round.
  • Filtered Air – Just like with a forced air system, your central air system will filter irritants and allergens out of the air.
  • Avoid Humidity – Your central air system can decrease the humidity in your home, which can help you stay comfortable and avoid mold growth and other side effects of high humidity.

โŒ Cons

  • Limited Options – Central air will not help keep you warm on days when the temperatures dip. This means that you may need to layer up on cold days!
  • Duct Maintenance – In order to keep your system functioning, proper maintenance is required. You will need to regularly invest in duct cleaning in order to avoid irritating your respiratory system and dealing with inconsistent cooling.

How Much Does It Cost to Install an HVAC System?

The overall price of installing an HVAC system will vary depending on:

  • The size of your home
  • The system you choose
  • The area you live in
  • Whether or not you have ductwork installed

In general, a central air conditioning system will cost you between $1,200-$4,500. Furnaces also have a wide range of costs, depending on the style you choose. They can range from $1000-$5,000 in some extreme cases.

Tips to Maintain Your HVAC System

Hvac unit after being repaired by professional

If those numbers have you shaking in your boots, it’s important to remember that a well-maintained HVAC system can last you for years to come! Doing a little work today will save you money in the long run. Follow these maintenance tips for an HVAC system that functions perfectly.

1) Schedule Tune-Ups ๐Ÿ—“๏ธ

One of the best ways to protect your HVAC system – whichever style you choose – is to schedule regular tune-ups with your service provider. Many HVAC professionals actually offer maintenance programs that keep your air conditioner and furnace working all year long.

2) Change the Filters ๐Ÿงฐ

An old, clogged air filter can decrease the efficiency of your heating and cooling system. Additionally, it can also affect the quality of the air in your home. Changing the filter a few times a year will help keep things moving.

3) Clean Your Outdoor Unit ๐ŸŒณ

It’s easy to forget about our outdoor air conditioner, but that thing sure can take a beating as the seasons change! Make sure to regularly remove any leaves and other debris that might surround it, as well as dust and cobwebs. A clean air conditioner is an effective one!

4) Get Rid of Clutter ๐Ÿงน

Dust is the enemy of your heating and cooling system. You can help to keep it from building up by avoiding cluttering the area where your furnace or heat pump is installed. We know this can be challenging, as many people use their furnace area as a storage area, but leaving space or regular cleaning is a great way to maintain your furnace.

How to Find a Quality Home Service Professional

There are many home service professionals on the market, but not all are created equal. Here are the things to look for in order to hire someone trustworthy to work on your HVAC system.

  • Experience – You’ll want to look for a team that has experience working with the systems that you are hoping to install.
  • Reviews – Reviews are one of the best ways to determine whether or not customers have enjoyed working with the company in the past. You can get an honest look at whether or not they show up when they say they will complete the work well and charge fair prices.
  • Referrals – Your best resource is right next to you! Your neighbors have likely had to ask for help with their HVAC systems at one point or another. Asking your friends, family, and community members for a referral can help you feel confident in the company that you choose.

Talk to the Team at Aquarius

If you’re looking for a trustworthy team with plenty of experience, call on Aquarius Home Services. Whether you are looking for a tune-up or to install an entirely new system, our HVAC specialists can help you find a solution that works for your lifestyle and budget. Contact us today to book your appointment!

Leave a Comment