Heating Options: What’s the Difference Between Boilers and Furnaces?

Heating Options: What’s the Difference Between Boilers and Furnaces?

The furnace and the boiler are the most common home heating options. While both keep your house warm, how they generate that warm air is very different. Understanding these differences is extremely beneficial when the time comes to make a new heating system installation or if you need to converse with an HVAC technician about an issue you’re experiencing with your system.

The Difference between Furnaces and Boilers

The simplest way to remember the difference between these two heating options is to associate the furnace with air and the boiler with water. The furnace heats air, which is then distributed throughout your home via a blower motor and your home’s ductwork. In contrast, the boiler heats water, which is then pumped through small pipes to devices inside your home — typically radiators or baseboard heaters — to heat your rooms.

Which One is Better?

Boilers are known to be longer lasting and more energy-efficient. They can go for very long without needing repairs or maintenance. They don’t have any filters that may need cleaning or replacement. With a boiler, you can heat only the most frequently used areas thereby reducing your energy bills. Because a boiler doesn’t circulate air, it won’t spread dust and allergens throughout your home. Therefore, it’s more allergy-friendly.

A big problem with boilers is that they can freeze under frigid temperatures. They also take longer to heat a room and react to thermostat changes. Additionally, they usually raise the humidity levels inside the home.

On the other hand, a furnace won’t freeze in the winter. Its installation costs are also lower than those of a boiler. However, furnaces usually need frequent repairs and have a shorter useful life. You’ll also need to replace the furnace filter regularly.

When it comes to deciding between these two heating options, it all comes down to your budget and personal needs. Regardless of the system you choose, you can prevent major faults and extend its lifespan through regular tuneups. If you need a heating system tune-up in Monmouth County and the surrounding area, contact the experts at Aggressive Mechanical Contractors.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Monmouth County, New Jersey and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  

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