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Boiler vs Furnace for Home Heating

When it comes to the different types of home heating systems, it’s best to know how each type operates along with the pros and cons. Boilers use a hydronic system to heat the home. A boiler heats the water, and a circulator move the water through a network of pipes that lead to radiators, radiant tubing or baseboard heaters. These units generate radiant heating. On the flip side, furnaces heat up air and a blower pushes the warmed air into the ductwork. The air then travels into the home through registers or vents in the floors, ceilings or walls. The easiest way to remember the difference is to associate boilers with water and furnaces with air.

Boiler Pros and Cons

Here’s a list of the boiler pros:

  • Optimal Comfort: With radiant heating, your body is warmed the same way the sun heats your body. The heat is evenly distributed. Even the floors, furniture and walls get warmed up.
  • Clean Air: Since boilers heat via water, there’s no dust and other allergens spread throughout home. It’s ideal for those with allergies or other upper respiratory problems.
  • Energy Efficient: Modern boilers are energy efficient with an average annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) of 80 to 85 percent. There are also condensing boilers that have efficiency ratings up to 95 percent.

There aren’t a lot of cons with boilers. However, it does take a lot of time to clean the radiators. In addition, if you want air conditioning, a duct system needs to be installed, which can be pricey if air ducts are not already present in the home.

Furnace Pros and Cons

  • Freezing: Unlike a boiler system with pipes that can freeze, furnaces don’t have this problem.
  • Durability and Lifespan: Furnaces are fairly dependable and have a long lifespan from 15 to 25 years.
  • Installation Costs: Furnaces are less expensive to install than boilers.
  • Energy Efficient: Today, there are highly efficient furnaces with AFUE up to 98 percent.

When compared to boilers, furnaces require more maintenance. There are filters that need regular changing, and the ductwork may have to be cleaned. It is also more difficult to zone with a furnace than with a boiler. Lastly, indoor air quality can be poorer depending on the cleanliness of the duckwork. With a forced-air system, particles like allergens and dust are often blown around and recirculated.

HVAC Service with Climate Master Mechanical Contractors in New Lenox, IL

At Climate Master Mechanical Contractors, we offer top-notch energy efficient equipment like furnaces, boilers, hybrid systems, heat pumps and air conditioners. Customers can take advantage of our Internet coupons along with our flexible financing plans. Our goal is to keep you cozy in the winter and cool in summer with great equipment. If you’re ready for an upgrade, be sure to call us.

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