How a Boiler Can Make a Big Difference in Your Home

condensing-gas-boilerAre you currently in a situation where you can switch from standard forced-air heating (such as using a furnace or heat pump) to using a boiler system? You may be moving into a new home that doesn’t have ducts already built in, or you are building your own house. In these situations, a boiler is not only a possibility, it may be the best choice to keep you warm winter after winter.

We’ll take a look at the way a boiler system can make a difference in a home—how it changes things from a forced-air heater.

Radiant Heating

The first thing to know about the difference between a boiler and a furnace is that a boiler has an entirely different way of delivering heat to rooms. Any forced-air system uses convection heating, which is the movement of heat through the movement of air. A boiler uses radiant heating, which is the movement of heat in waves coming off a heated object. The heat moves through the space until it contacts another object, without heating the air between.

So when you feel warmth from the radiators, baseboard heaters, or in-floor pipes in a room, the air in the room isn’t any warmer—your body is warmer because heat waves are striking it.

How does this type of heating make a difference?

  • First, the heating sensation feels different, and most people find radiant heating cozier and more comfortable, like the sun on a summer day. In-floor heating feels especially good—it’s fantastic to have a toasty warm floor under your feet on a winter morning.
  • Second, radiant heating spreads evenly through a space, where convection heating tends to gather first at the top of the room and leave cold spots. The heat also spreads quicker, and you’ll enjoy warmth much faster.
  • Third, radiant heating doesn’t blow around dust and lint, helping to keep the air cleaner. A boiler can be great for people with allergies and asthma.

Energy Savings

Boilers usually cost less to run than furnaces. This is because boilers transfer heat through water, not air, and water is a much more effective heat transfer medium than air. (You’ve felt this in action before. Putting your hand in hot water feels much hotter than putting your hand in hot air.) The efficiency of a boiler’s operation will mean lower utility bills.


A boiler system can outlast most other heating systems because it has fewer moving parts to suffer from friction and wear. Many boiler systems can last more than 20 years, sometimes even reaching 30. Most furnaces last around 15 years, and heat pumps even less.

Find Out More About Boiler Systems

We know it’s not easy to make a major choice for a home like what type of HVAC system it uses. This is why calling for professionals is so important. Our technicians offer boiler services as well as services for many types of heating systems. They’ll help steer you to your best option.

Wm. Henderson Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Inc. serves Delaware County & The Main Line, PA. Call us for service for your boiler.

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