Boilers and Furnaces

What is the Difference between a Boiler and a Furnace?

Arlington, TX – Determining which heating system is best suited for you and your home will vary due to multiple conditions. If you are in the market for a new furnace or boiler and you are wondering what the difference is between the two – the continue reading. To make the right choice, it is imperative that you understand what the difference is between a boiler and a furnace.

One of the simplest ways to remember the difference is to remember that a furnace utilizes air, and a boiler makes use of water to heat a home.

Both will operate differently. A furnace heats air and then a blower motor will distribute that heated hair throughout the home’s duct system.

A boiler will distribute heated water through small pipes using a pump to heat up cast iron radiators or radiant flooring systems. A steam boiler will distribute steam rather than water through a system of pipes to heat radiators throughout the home. Boilers, also commonly known as hydronic heat systems, can operate off electricity, gas, oil or even wood pellets.

What are the Pros and Cons between a Boiler and a Furnace?

Obviously taking note of the pros and cons between both systems will greatly affect your decision on which system may be best for you. Furnaces make use of warm air, which can create a draft in the home because of the blower motor distributing warm air through the duct system. Moving air through a home is optimal during the summer when cooling a home. However, it can be uncomfortable to some when it comes to heating.

Convection or radiant heat can provide steady heat and optimal consistent temperatures. Boilers also will not spread dust or allergens throughout the home. However, one of the down sides with a boiler is that they are more expensive. A furnace can use a home’s existing duct work whereas a boiler will need to have pipes installed throughout the home.

Another difference between boilers and furnaces is the type of maintenance that each will require. Furnace systems will need to have their air filters exchanged anywhere between once a month to every few months. High efficiency boilers typically will require professional service at least once a year.  Ultimately, it boils down to which system makes the most sense for you and your budget.


Randy Murphy

Randy Murphy has been building his knowledge of the air conditioning and heating business for several years now. He first started applying his knowledge while working for his father’s HVAC company. Later, in 1987, Randy started his own business: Metro Express Service. He has been a top 10 Trane & Amana dealer for over eight years. When it comes to heating and cooling, Randy knows the business better than anyone.
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