Forced Air vs Central Air in Osprey: What’s the Difference?

Forced Air vs Central Air in Sarasota What's the Difference

Are you a resident living in or near Sarasota, wondering what the difference is between forced air and central air systems?

Chances are you’ve heard both terms thrown about by servicemen, contractors, and even friends or acquaintances but aren’t sure what they mean.

Technical terminology can often be confusing, and this situation is no exception. However, the answer is much simpler than you might think. In this short article, we’ll define forced air and central AC and explain their differences.

To learn more and clear up some common misconceptions, keep reading this quick AC guide.

What Does Central Air Mean?

A central air conditioning system is an AC system with an outdoor unit and ducts that distribute air throughout the home or building. You may know this already since central ACs are among the most common systems in use.

Central air systems usually have furnaces built-in, allowing them to distribute warmed air during the winter. The furnace is separate from the AC unit and almost always situated somewhere inside the building, but it’s part of the same system.

What is a Forced Air System?

Technically speaking, forced air refers to any system that uses a duct and vent configuration to distribute air throughout a building. However, when people talk about forced air systems, they’re almost always referring to furnaces exclusively.

Forced air systems are typically compared to radiant heating systems. Radiant heating systems use heating elements to produce heat directly, the way a fireplace would. Forced air pulls air in, warms it, and then redistributes it.

Why Are These Terms Used Interchangeably?

As you may have figured out by now, a central air system is technically a forced air system, too. In technical terms, any system that blows (or “forces”) air into a building through a vent system is a forced air system.

The difference between forced and central air is a matter of common usage. Generally, when people speak of central air, they’re referring to complete HVAC systems. When they talk about forced air, they’re usually referring to heating systems.

However, this is not always the case. Many people, including many professionals, use the two terms interchangeably. It isn’t uncommon to hear a contractor use both terms when referring to the same system.

Get the Best AC Services Near Sarasota Now

And there you have it: the simple, if often misunderstood, difference between central and forced air. As you can see, the truth is simpler than it might have first appeared.

But at the end of the day, the terms we use to describe our HVAC systems are less important than how they function. For residents living around Sarasota or Venice, Florida, Bowersox Air Conditioning & Heating is a valuable ally in keeping their systems in top condition.

To schedule a maintenance visit or see about getting a new system installed, contact us today.

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Bowsersox Air is a quality Englewood AC company that services all models and brands.

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