Furnace Vs. Boiler: What’s The Difference?

Discover More About Your Home’s Heating System!

about furnaces and boilers north carolina

When people you know talk about their home heating system, what do they call it?

More often than not, they call it a furnace. But it may not be. They may actually have a boiler.

Why does that difference matter? You need to know what kind of heating system you have so you know how to help it operate at its peak efficiency. The most important way you do that is through annual maintenance tune-ups by a trained, experienced service technician.

Let’s go over the differences between furnaces and boilers, and what you need to know about them.

How Boilers Work

Boilers are also called hydronic heating systems because they use heated water for heating your home.
There are two kinds of boilers. A steam boiler distributes steam from that heated water through pipes to radiators around your home.

A hot water boiler sends hot water through pipes to baseboard radiators, under-floor radiant floor systems (no more cold floors!), or a coil that heats air.

Boilers have a long lifespan, averaging between 15 and 25 years. And, being closed systems, they often have outstanding energy efficiency.

People like boilers because the heat from them is even, long-lasting, and not drying, which forced-air heat can be.

However, boilers are a more complex heating system than furnaces and are more expensive to install.

How Furnaces Work

A furnace is also sometimes referred to as a forced-air heating system. That’s because a furnace heats air and then circulates it around your home to keep it warm.

Air is brought into the furnace through a return and is heated there. A blower then forces that heated air into the ductwork, where it goes to all the rooms in your home through vents.

Furnaces have become the most popular heating system on the market today. People like the lower overall cost of ownership of a furnace. They’re less expensive to buy, install, maintain, and repair.

Being a relatively simple heating system, a furnace can often be installed in less than a day.

On a raw day, you want your home to be warm and nothing does it faster than a furnace.

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