Boiler v. Furnace, What’s the Difference?

Boiler v. Furnace, What’s the Difference?

The terms “furnace” and “boiler” get thrown around a lot when talking about heating a home. There’s a distinct difference between these two forms of heating. Here’s what you need to know about each.

Boiler

A boiler uses hot water to heat your home. A boiler is more versatile, as it can supply heat for baseboards, radiators, and radiant heating systems. The hot water is distributed through a network of pipes that are connected to baseboards or radiators. Similarly, a steam boiler uses just steam to accomplish the same task, though these are becoming less common due to their inefficiency.

A downside to boiler heating is that it presents a challenge when the warmer weather rolls around. You’d either need to rely on window or wall air conditioners or a ductwork system connected to central air conditioning. The latter means you’d already have the ductwork and vent network required for a furnace. This is something to consider when looking for a heating option.

Furnace

The medium of choice for furnaces is air. The unit will heat air using gas, oil, or electricity. A blower will then direct the air through ducts around the home, where it will exit through vents.

The biggest downside to furnace heat is the draft moving air creates. These systems can make your home more vulnerable to dust and other allergens, as well as dry air. They also require air filters, which need changing to catch particles and keep the system running efficiently.

Affordability

There’s no definitive answer to which system is more cost-effective or efficient. It depends on your home setup and your needs. Both furnaces and boilers need maintenance and require a professional to set up. The cost of running either system will depend on your air conditioning choices, how well insulated your home is, the cost of fuel in your area, and more.

The Intelligent Choice for Heating

Einstein's Plumbing & Heating, Inc. is Brooklyn’s premier choice for boiler and furnace repair and installation. Call us at (718) 215-9664 to learn more about how we can keep you warm all winter.

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