Forced Versus Central Air: What’s the difference?

In the HVAC industry, you’re likely to hear many technical terms to explain the heating and cooling process and methods. While most people think of forced air as only the heating system, warming up the hold through a furnace or heat pump and moving through the home, forced-air systems are any HVAC system that delivers temperature-controlled air into the house through ducts and vents. This includes central air and central air conditioning systems. 

In Sonoma County and the rest of North America, forced air is the most common method since it is the only HVAC system that effectively combines heating and air conditioning. At Accurate Heating and Air Conditioning, we’ve been installing, servicing, and repairing HVAC systems in Sonoma, Marin, and Napa county homes for over 20 years.


Pros of Forced Air Heating And Central Air Conditioning

If you already have a fully ducted house, the benefits of forced air or central air systems are clear. These systems are:

  • Reliable since they have fewer moving parts. 
  • Highly efficient, especially with new technology available. 
  • Affordability since they work with what is already in place. 
  • Known to last 10 to 20 years. 
  • Easy to install and upgrade
  • Quick at heating and cooling the home. 
  • Excellent air filtration and humidity control
  • Compatible with smart and programmable thermostats
  • And they add value to the house. 

If you’re looking for the best energy efficient air conditioners, check out our previous article on how upgrading to a newer model can make a difference on your energy bills just in time for summer.

Cons of Forced Air Heating And Central Air Conditioning

While forced-air heating and cooling have a range of benefits, they can also be:

  • Expensive without pre-existing ductwork
  • Susceptible to leaks in the ducts leading to increased cost and decreased efficiency
  • Prone to uneven air distribution caused by blocked vents or improperly sized air conditioning and furnaces. 
  • Noisy due to the air being pushed through ducts and vents. 
  • Risky if not properly maintained since it could carry mold, mildew, and other contaminants throughout the home. 

For your furnace and air conditioning systems, we recommend routine maintenance to minimize these risks. Annual inspections, cleaning, and service ensure that your system runs efficiently, prevents potential breakdowns, and improves your indoor air quality

At Accurate Heating and Air Conditioning, we also provide ductless mini-split systems for homes without ductwork or support rooms with heating and cooling issues. The benefits of these systems include independent temperature control, flexibility, comfort, efficiency, and are an inexpensive alternative to installing ductwork. 

When looking to improve the comfort of your home in the winter and summer months, talk to us about your options and if forced-air systems are right for you. Whether you’re looking to upgrade to a new high-efficiency furnace and air conditioner or for maintenance and repair, the HVAC technician you choose is just as important as your HVAC system. 

For all your home HVAC needs, contact Accurate Heating and Air Conditioning.


accurate heating and air conditioning twenty years experience