While a boiler and furnace both provide heat to your property, they operate in widely different ways. Knowing the difference between a boiler and a furnace can help homeowners determine the right heating system for their homes, understand the best way to complete maintenance, and ensure that their boiler or furnace operates flawlessly at all times.

The Difference Between Boiler and Furnace: A boiler and a furnace both complete the same task —  heat up your home during the cold winter months or whenever else you require some extra warmth. However, the method in which each heating system services your home is very different. The main difference is that a furnace heats the air while a boiler heats water. In the case of the furnace, the hot air is then circulated throughout the house ventilation system to warm your home. As for the boiler, a boiler heats water, which then flows through a network of pipes in the home. As the hot water flows, it generates heat throughout the home.

The Difference in Maintenance: Since a boiler and a furnace use different methods of operation to create heat in your home, the proper maintenance routine for each system is different as well. Maintenance for a furnace is a bit simpler in comparison to a boiler. Generally, the air filter in the furnace needs to be replaced once every month or so. This helps to ensure that the warm air being circulated around your home is clean and healthy. Boiler maintenance requires less of an exact timeline to follow. Excess air needs to be removed, or bled, from the boiler system. The time between bleeds varies on the system, usage, and the boiler itself. It’s best to let a professional HVAC technician handle these annual tune-ups to ensure that your boiler system runs properly. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of a Furnace and Boiler: A furnace is generally more affordable and quicker to install in a home than a boiler is. They are less likely to freeze during a winter power outage than a boiler is, ensuring that your family has access to stable warmth at all times. However, a furnace requires a high amount of ductwork for installation, which is a potential hazard for people suffering from allergies. It also can drain all moisture from the air, creating hot air that is too dry and not comfortable. Boilers are highly efficient when compared to furnaces and don’t dry the air. They are better for those with allergies or who are sensitive to other pollutants. On the downside, boilers are more expensive, require separate air purification equipment, and are slower to heat up. Before purchasing, carefully consider which HVAC system is best for you. When you are ready, call a professional to install your new boiler or furnace!

Whether you’re conducting routine maintenance on your heating systems, installing a new boiler or furnace in your property, or looking to repair the system you already have in place, carefully understanding the difference between boiler and furnace is crucial. No matter which HVAC system is installed in your home, trust a professional HVAC technician to treat your boiler or furnace with expert care!