Forced air systems are the most traditional heating & cooling systems. They use ducts and vents to move warm or cool air through your home. Forced air systems are also called central air systems when they are connected to AC equipment. In the winter, furnaces heat air that is distributed through your home using the ducts in your walls – the air is “forced” through the ducts, which is why they call it a forced air system!
If you’re thinking about putting in a new forced air system, consider how much you’re willing to spend and what your priorities are. Different systems come with different trade offs, such as noise level, energy efficiency, comfort level, and overall convenience.
Types of Furnaces
The furnaces that provide heat to forced air systems come in different models depending on where they will be installed.
“Upflow” furnaces, installed in your basement, use natural convection to move warm air through your home. Warm air rises, so by putting your furnace in the basement, the warm air produced by the furnace moves naturally upwards.
A “downflow” furnace, typically installed in the attic, pushes warm air downwards into your home – but can be less efficient since warm air naturally wants to rise.
A horizontal furnace lies on its side and can be installed in tighter spaces. Horizontal furnaces pull cool air in from one side and push warm air out the other.
GEM’s licensed team members are experts at maintaining your furnace. To keep your furnace working well for many years, we recommend having your furnace tuned up once a year.
When you have GEM come to your home to tune-up your furnace, you can expect our technician to:
Clean and inspect your full furnace, checking operation of the full system
Test your condensate pump and inspect the blower motor and housing
Inspect gas lines and connections at furnace, gas valve, and burner
Check high limit and adjust if needed
Check temperature rise – how well it heats – and adjust as needed
Inspect burner ignition system and assembly
Inspect and clean flame sensor
Check and adjust manifold gas pressure as needed
Inspect heat exchanger for soot, corrosion, cracks and deformities
Inspect wires and electrical assembly for loose connections and corrosion
Inspect flues and venting for blocks and leaks; test to ensure clear air flow
Test all electrical, safety circuits, and controls for proper operation
Test and adjust furnace to improve operation and efficiency
Check carbon monoxide emission levels
Change filter and humidifier pads as needed
Common Furnace Problems
When the cold weather hits, we all know how important it is to have a working furnace. If you’re experiencing any of these issues, call GEM at 877-902-1000 to get your furnace checked out.
If you smell gas, you could have a gas leak – a serious and potentially dangerous problem
Turn off your gas, leave the house, and call a professional right away
No Gas Flame
If your pilot light won’t stay lit, the thermocouple could be loose or faulty
The pilot could be clogged
The pilot’s flame may be set too low
Or the safety valve could be defective
Not Warm Enough
If your furnace turns on and produces some warmth, but not enough to heat your whole house, the problem could be with your furnace or with how heat is moving through your home
Make sure that nothing is blocking your vents
Check that the thermostat is in “heat” mode
If your home still isn’t warm, call GEM to take a look at your furnace
Furnace Won’t Turn On
If your furnace won’t turn on at all, the problem could be with your thermostat or your electrical circuit breaker
Try resetting both your thermostat and the circuit breaker
If your furnace still won’t turn on, GEM’s team can come locate and fix the problem
Furnace Cycles On And Off Often
This is often caused by an improperly sized system or by your thermostat
Try resetting or replacing your thermostat, or have a GEM technician adjust the settings on your furnace
Furnace Does Not Blow Air
If your furnace is turned on and heating but the air isn’t moving, you probably have a broken belt between your furnace motor and the blower
Gem’s technicians can replace the belt quickly and easily to get your furnace up and running again