Often the term “furnace” is used to broadly describe a home’s heating system, and many people confuse furnaces and boilers. It’s understandable – both are heating systems for your home or business. There’s a big difference between the two, however. Let us explain:
There’s a significant difference between a boiler heating system and a furnace system. A boiler uses hot water (or steam from hot water) pushed through pipes to heat your home. Very differently, a furnace uses warm air pushed through ductwork to heat spaces.
A furnace uses air to generate heat. Furnace heating systems are also commonly referred to as forced-air systems because they force room-temperature air through a heat exchanger. Once heated, the air is then forced into ductwork to distribute heat.
Boilers are large, closed contain systems that use heated water to generate heat through steam or vapor. Also called hydronic or radiant heating, boilers deliver heat throughout the house via pipes that go to registers, radiators or baseboard units.
Heating air requires more energy than heating water; therefore, boilers are more energy efficient than furnaces. While installation of a boiler is more expensive initially than a furnace system, boilers run more efficiently, tend to be sturdier, and have a longer lifespan (if properly maintained) than furnaces leading to cost savings in the long run.
Whether you choose a boiler or a furnace to heat your home depends on several factors including your home’s structure and heating needs. It’s also important to look at other considerations such as repair cost and initial installation to determine which one is best for your home.
Warm Waters is here to help you decide which system is right for you, or to service your current system. Please CONTACT US for all your heating system needs.