Boilers vs Furnaces: Advantages & Disadvantages

Boilers vs Furnaces: Advantages & Disadvantages

When it comes to finding out what type of heating system to choose for your home, you may be divided between boilers vs furnaces. Both are tried and true heaters, and are widely recognized as standards of the modern home. To help you decide between these two types of heating systems, we have outlined the differences between them.

Let’s take a look at some of the differences between boilers and furnaces:

Furnaces & Boilers Utilize Different Mediums to Distribute Heat

If you’re considering purchasing a boiler vs furnace for your home, it’s vital to understand how they both create and distribute warm air. All furnaces use roughly the same principle of distribution: an air handler blows hot air into ductwork to distribute heat throughout the house. There will be duct registers at the base of walls and often in the ceilings. Boilers, on the other hand, have roughly two distribution systems, depending on whether they use hot water or steam. Hot water boilers use either copper baseboard piping with aluminum fins, hot water radiators, or some combination thereof. Steam boilers use specially designed steam radiators to produce a pleasant humidified air during the dry winter months.

Furnaces Use Air Filters to Sanitize the Air in the Home

If you’re in the process of comparing boilers vs furnaces for your home, it is important to be aware of the maintenance requirements these two types of systems require. The air filter on a gas furnace will need to be replaced periodically to keep the air clean in your home. 1 – 2 inch air filters should be replaced after 3 months while 4 inch filters only should be replaced every 6 months.

Boilers Requires Less Maintenance

On the other hand, we recommend continuously checking the boiler in your home to ensure the water levels are sufficient. If the boiler is activated without water, this may cause severe damage to the system. A lack of water may be caused by a malfunctioning plumbing system in the home. A main difference between boilers vs furnaces is the total amount of maintenance required on an annual basis. Boilers are an excellent central heating method because they only require an annual tune-up that is conducted by a professional.

Other Differences Between Boilers vs Furnaces

Many families decide to invest in a gas furnace because it is more affordable than a boiler and is quicker to install. Also, furnaces solely rely on surrounding air to heat your home while boilers utilize water. One of the main disadvantages of boilers is their tendency to freeze during power outages during the Winter season. If you live in an extremely cold area, you may want to consider investing in a traditional furnace. However, a disadvantage of central furnaces is their reliance on ductwork. Since ductwork is often associated with high levels of duct in the home, many families with allergies may decide to purchase a boiler instead of a furnace.

Boilers vs Furnaces: Similarities

Boilers & Furnaces Rely on Gas or Electricity to Operate

When comparing boilers vs furnaces, they both either rely on natural gas or electricity. While electricity is generally more efficient, because there is little wasted combustion exhaust, natural gas can be more cost-effective, depending on your locale. Gas furnaces and boilers are common, and each will be fitted with some type of ignition apparatus and safety device to ensure that the combustion chamber does not fill with fuel if it cannot be lit.

Heating Repair & Installation Services

We hope this boiler vs furnace comparison helps you understand the differences between these two systems. Each heating system provides a set of advantages and disadvantages. We recommend choosing a type of heating system that is able to accommodate your unique physical needs and home configuration. Our team offers furnace and boiler repair services to homes in Pennsylvania. Give us a call by phone at (484) 474-5373 to receive assistance.

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