The Differences Between Forced Air and Central Air

The Differences Between Forced Air and Central Air

Summer is in full-swing and walking into your air-conditioned home after spending time outside in the hot New York sun is one of the best feelings. With air conditioners in three-quarters of all homes in the United States, it’s clear that having a cool home is a priority for most Americans. While many people know what air conditioners, thermostats, and window units look like, many don’t understand the difference between forced air and central air conditioning and use the terms interchangeably. To help, we broke down the main differences between the two below!


What is forced air?


Even though many people believe forced air has to do with cooling your home, it actually pertains most often to the heating system, such as in a furnace. A forced air system is technically any HVAC system which pushes temperature-controlled air through ducts and vents into your home. So, while your furnace is a forced air system, your heat pump and central air conditioner can be as well.


One benefit of forced air is that these systems filter air and their filtration can be easily upgraded. Another benefit is that these systems naturally dehumidify the air, which can be ideal for areas that experience high humidity like New York.


What is a central air conditioner?


Central air conditioners use a closed loop of cycled and refrigerated air to cool down your home and make it comfortable during hot days. These air conditioners use a condenser, compressor, and evaporator coils to deliver crisp cool temperatures. Both the compressor and condenser live in the unit outside of your home (often found on your roof or in your backyard) and they work with the evaporator coils to pull the warm air out, cycle it through coils to cool it down, and push that cool air back into your home.


So, what’s the difference?


Understanding the difference can be a bit tricky because of the overlapping in functions. The main difference is that central air conditioning refers specifically to your cooling system and uses the forced air system in your home to make your house a regulated and chilled temperature. Forced air systems are more often than not considered the heating system in your home and works in tandem with the central air conditioner in the summer.


Which system should you choose?


Because the difference between forced air and central air is so minor, it may be difficult to understand which one you should choose. Both systems have a number of benefits and can help you and your family stay cool and comfortable at home. Depending on your home and any existing ductwork, you may need to choose one over the other and air conditioning and HVAC experts like OSI Comfort Specialists can help you determine which is best for you.


At OSI Comfort Specialists, we offer a full range of air conditioning services, including installations, upgrades, preventive maintenance, repairs and service contracts. If you currently have no central air conditioning, we can make your home more comfortable and attractive with a new central air system. By offering the most advanced equipment from the world’s top manufacturers, our customers can enjoy superior cooling while minimizing consumption of electricity. To discuss HVAC services with an OSI Comfort Specialists expert, please call us today at 516-763-1400 or click here to contact us online. 

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