Furnaces vs Boilers


Are you looking to make a decision or a change in regards to your home’s heating method? It’s a more important decision than you may think.  People who don’t understand the difference between furnaces and boilers could end up regretting their decision in the future. And even though they both can be effective methods for heating your home, one may simply be a more suitable option your lifestyle. Here’s a quick guide on what the differences are when it comes to furnace versus boiler.




Heat Movement


Boilers are used to heat your home through radiators that are placed in different rooms. Water circulates once heated; it then travels through the radiator and transfers the heat into your home. The advantage of having a boiler system is that it works in various zones of your home. So, if your living room is not in use, you can turn it off and avoid wasting energy. You can also control the temperatures with different thermostats, so you can save money on areas that don’t need to be heated.

A furnace, on the other hand, circulates heat around your home through ducts and vents located on your walls, ceilings, and floors. It does not use water to move heat around your home, but instead, uses air. This means that you won’t have to worry about water leaks or water freezing occurring when it’s cold outside, which can happen with boilers. You can also run the furnace off of a thermostat to choose the temperatures you want for your home. However, the downside is that heat cannot be distributed into different zones with this system.




Installation for a boiler system is costlier than a furnace and requires numerous parts, including radiators, which will need to be installed throughout your home.

With a furnace, a big plus is that they are easy to install and newer models are also energy efficient, which can help you save money on your utility costs.

Boilers are most often found in older homes with radiators, but that is not the only situation. Boilers are also used for homes with radiant floor heating systems, condos where a boiler is used for heating and hot water, and multi-unit residential buildings where zoning is important.




With a boiler, your maintenance is also fairly stress-free, with only a simple servicing required about once a year. A furnace, on the other hand, requires air filters, which need to be changed seasonally to maintain optimal performance.

Changing your air filter seasonally will help by:

1. Extending the life of your HVAC unit, allowing it to not have to work as hard to get through the dust and dirt.

2. Keeping energy costs down. Naturally, when the air filter is clogged, the furnace is going to be working harder meaning more energy is being used.

3. Maintaining healthy air quality. Less dust and dirt in the air means your lungs will be happy!

4. Keeping your heating and cooling system clean. Dirt that gets clogged up in the filter can lead to negative effects throughout your entire HVAC system.






If you or a family member suffers from allergies, a boiler can be a better option since they don’t trap and transport dust and other particles throughout the home. Furnace systems can collect pet dander, dust and other allergens, spreading them around your home through the vents that can sometimes irritate those who are sensitive to allergens. However, with quality air filters that are replaced regularly, this issue is mitigated.

As outlined above, changing your air filter more often can help support the furnace’s performance in this category. If you have pets and are thinking about going down the furnace route, we would recommend changing your filter more often than your average home owner. A good rule of thumb is to change it every 60 days.

Now that you know your options, let us take care of your installation and service requirements for maintaining the heating system in your home.
Contact Advanced HVAC today for more information, or if you have any other questions in making the best decision for your home.