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Basic Differences and Importance of Boilers and Furnaces

Basic Differences and Importance of Boilers and Furnaces

Choosing the right heating system for your home is important. Boilers and furnaces are the two most commonly used heating systems in residential properties. Both these devices keep our home warm and delightful during unpleasant and frightful weather. However, while selecting these systems, you must consider a variety of factors like regional climate, energy efficiency, size of the house, boiler and furnace repair cost and so on.

At Ringaway, we are dedicated to providing our consumers with the right knowledge so that they can make informed decisions. In this article, we will discuss how a boiler and a furnace work so that you can determine the best option for your needs.

How Does a Boiler Work?

A boiler is used to heat water. It turns normal water into steam that moves to the different parts of the house through pipes. Here, the steam gets dispersed through radiators. A boiler also has a specialized radiant floor system that helps hot water to reach different water sources in a residence. These heating systems are also used to heat the indoor air with the help of an installed coil. Boilers are much more energy efficient compared to other heating systems and run on different energy sources like wood, electricity and natural gas.

Boiler Pros:

  • Boilers are very energy efficient and thus, use a very less amount of fuel to heat your home and have a low energy cost.
  • Boilers are a kind of heating system that produces consistent heat compared to other devices.
  • These heating systems are known for producing less operational noise.
  • Filters are not present in boilers and thus require less cleaning or maintenance. Additionally, the boiler maintenance cost is less than other heating systems.
  • Boilers neither spread allergens and dust nor blow air. Thus, boilers help to maintain better air quality.

Boiler Cons:

  • When it comes to thermostat changes, boilers are slower to react. So, even after turning the temperature up or down, it takes longer to feel the change in temperature.
  • Boiler installation is more tricky and difficult than the installation of other heating systems.
  • Converting the boiler into a furnace is a difficult task. To switch from a boiler to a furnace, you may need to add ducts to release air from your home. This is a costly affair.
  • With boilers, you cannot install a central air conditioning system in your home. Remember, the boiler won’t allow your home to cool down.
  • Leaks on a boiler pose a hazard as it may cause serious water damage.

How Does a Furnace Work?

Furnace Maintenance

A furnace is installed in a home to increase the indoor temperature by heating the air. Modern-day furnaces use a blower motor to heat the indoor air and air ducts to spread the warm air throughout the residence.

Furnaces distribute warm air with the help of a blower and your residence’s duct system. It means the air is released into your house through vents in your ceiling, walls or floors. Furnaces may run on various energy sources like propane, oil, natural gas or electricity. As these heating systems cost less than boilers, they are vastly used in residential properties.

Furnace Pros:

  • Furnaces are less expensive, sometimes half the price of a boiler and thus, are more common in private properties.
  • Furnaces leak only air and thus, are less hazardous to your home.
  • Furnaces do not hold water and hence when the power goes out, they do not cause freezing hazards. On the other hand, heating systems that use water may burst if the temperature goes down and the water freezes.
  • Furnace installation is easy. Professionals can install a furnace in your home in just a few hours.

Furnace Cons:

  • When it comes to efficiency, furnaces are less efficient in making your house warm and comfortable. These heating systems use fuel more quickly and increase your energy costs.
  • As furnaces blow air, they make more noise. Every time a furnace turns on, it makes a loud sound.
  • You cannot expect heat consistency with a furnace as forced air is not consistent. Due to this, some rooms of your house may get hotter or cooler than others.
  • Along with hot air, furnaces blow allergens and dust into your indoor air. It makes your air drier and reduces its overall quality.

Boiler vs. Furnace

Energy Efficiency

Boilers are more energy efficient than furnaces. However, when considering the energy-efficient aspect of your heating systems, always consider the age of your devices. No matter if you have a boiler or a furnace installed in your house, both these systems are energy efficient in their 56-70% range. So, if you want to cut down your energy cost, consider replacing your old boiler or furnace with a new one. The energy efficiency of modern heating systems is as high as 98%. For furnace and boiler replacement, always consult with professionals who can guide you to make the right decision.


Though a boiler needs less maintenance, it won’t operate at its optimum if you fail to take care of it. So, it doesn’t matter if you have a boiler or a furnace, your heating system will heat your rooms less efficiently without professional maintenance. So, to avoid costly repair of your heating device, consider hiring a furnace and boiler maintenance services.

An HVAC professional may help you check all your vents, pipes and chimney and provide you with the best maintenance solution. If needed, they would make sure that the setting of your heating system is at its best for optimum comfort and efficiency.

Ultimately, both boiler and furnace come with a unique list of pros and cons. Having an idea of how they work and how they are different from each other can help you make an informed decision about maintenance and replacement.

Both boiler and furnace need timely inspections and maintenance. A good rule of thumb is to consult an experienced HVAC service provider. They may help you to improve the energy efficiency of your heating systems and keep your home warm and comfortable.

For a boiler or furnace inspection, maintenance or repair, feel free to connect with Ringaway.

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