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The Difference Between A Furnace And A Boiler

Written on: October 19, 2020

do I have a furnace or boiler new york

Learn about your home’s heating equipment!

Here in the Hudson Valley, you may hear people talking about their furnace. As in, “I’ve got to get my furnace tuned up,” or “I can’t believe I had to turn on the furnace this early in the fall.”

But do they really have a furnace?

That isn’t a trick question. Because very often, people use the word “furnace” as an all-encompassing word for a home heating system. They may not have a furnace at all, but a boiler instead.

Furnaces and boilers are two very different kinds of heating systems. Both have advantages and disadvantages.

Read on to learn more!

How does a boiler work?

Boilers use heated water to heat your home. They heat water, and hot water or steam is sent around your home to provide heat.

Steam is distributed through pipes to radiators. Hot water goes to baseboard radiators, under-floor radiant floor systems, or a coil that heats air.

A boiler offers even, strong, comfortable, long-lasting heating that is not drying for you, your furniture, and other items in your home.
Boilers last on average between 15 and 20 years, meaning that you won’t have to replace it as soon as you might a furnace.

Boilers offer outstanding energy efficiency, because they are closed systems.

What can be a negative for boilers is that they are more expensive to install, sometimes taking days, as the heating system is a more complex one.

How does a furnace work?

A furnace heats air and circulates it around your home to keep it warm. Air is brought into the furnace through a return and is heated. A blower then sends the heated air into the ductwork, which distributes through vents to all the rooms in your home.

Furnaces are the most popular heating system today. They are powered by propane, heating oil, natural gas, or electricity.

One reason for that is that you get a lower overall cost of ownership with a furnace compared with a boiler. Furnaces are less expensive to purchase, install, repair, and maintain. Furnaces, being such a simple, straightforward system, can be installed in less than a day.

Furnaces get your home warm fast, and to higher temperatures. That’s nice when the Polar Vortex pays us a visit!

There is a downside to furnaces. The heat is only being blown into the room from the vents. The heat may not be distributed evenly about the room, and you may end up with cold spots.

Trust Kimlin Energy for the best boiler and furnace installation, maintenance, and repairs in the Hudson Valley!