Building Technology
Forced air heating should be banned
Winter is just around the corner, the ducts need to be cleaned out and the suffering will begin. Forced air heating has many pitfalls, the worst of its pitfalls is that it does not heat a house properly. The amount of times I've heard someone tell me to turn the heat up, just makes me want to strangle the inventors who created this and the architects that implement it. Essentially the heating system works like this, it heats an enviroment to the point that one starts sweating and begins to strip their clothes off, not to mention the poor quality of air it provides (makes you want to suffocate). Than it stops and you begin thinking, "am I outside, it so darn freezing...turn the heat up". Another problem which affects the architect is that when you design a wood-frame home, I imagine that forced air ducts and air returns are a major obstical in designing a beautiful home. Its pipes(ducts) are huge and unwieldy. Its furnace is also a concern for the architect, builder and enviromentalist alike. It is again a huge unit that the architect and builder don't know where to place, it usually ends up being placed right in the middle of the unfinished basement, how convenient. So when the home owner comes around to renovate their basement they have to design around this gigantic unit (furnace) and its huge pipes(ducts). As for the enviromentalist concerns, well the furnace burns gas, polluting and already very polluted air, plus it is depleting a limited resource ie. gas again. FORCED AIR HEATING SHOULD BE BANNED! Why? Well, many reasons but its main reason is that it does not provide proper and sustained warmth, which is crucial to a pleasant home life. So you Architects out there, ADVOCATE AGAINST FORCED AIR HEATING and go instead with water heated floors or water heated tanks or even fire places and woodstoves, anything but forced air heating.


Get rid of it in cars as well. It is the exact same problem, heats too much and than freezes you to your core. "Turn the heat up" arghhh.

Forced air heating also makes too much noise, turns on when it wants and also disturbs the visual peace ie. moves plants, dust (which is bad for you to enhale)curtains, maps hung on walls, clothing when you past over it etc. It also fogs up your glasses when you come in from the cold. It is expensive for the home owner and I imagine that it is more expensive than other heating systems, product and installation. As for its benefits, I guess it provides heat.

Okay one guilty pleasure; it is an amazing feeling to stand over, like standing in front of an air conditioner on a hot summer day. But its negatives "humongously" outweigh its positives. Okay! Right! "DOWN! DOWN!....
Abdul Basit Mukri
Forced air heating should be banned
Hello Abdul,

If you really want to get smart, do what we do in New Zealand and other parts of the world and use a system described as a heat pump. Basically it is an air conditioning system that works in reverse in the cool seasons. In winter it extracts heat from the outside and pumps it inside, and during the summer is extracts heat from the inside and pumpss it outside. Simple enough...

Now, go find some. Ciao for now.
David Michael James Davies
Forced air heating should be banned
The way mankind invented various types of food/clothing/shelters to enhance one's interaction with self and surrounding. Airconditining is the comfort and ambiance factor governing modern dwellings, an architect cannot afford to be blind to advanced adoptable features of the present times and to contemparary technology. Yes, heat pump is an environmentally friendly gadget.
Dushyant Nathwani
Forced air heating should be banned
Abdul, "Forced air heating" for homes seems to be a purely North American Continental idea. I know it is used in homes the USA, but as you are in Canada then I assume that both the domestic heating and buildings are similar?

As for the poor quality of air, this depends upon how the air-intake is regulated, as in the winter the outside air intake is closed to reduce heating costs (a false economy) and so stale de-oxygenated air is endlessly recycled.
Frank John Snelling


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