Heating systems are an essential part of any home or business. But what type of heating system should one choose? Boilers and furnaces are both popular options, so it’s essential to understand their pros and cons before purchasing.
This article looks at how boilers and furnaces work and their key differences:
BOILER VS. FURNACE
A boiler uses hot water to heat the space. The heated water circulates through pipes installed throughout the building, providing consistent warmth in every room. The system also produces hot water for showers, dishwashers, and other appliances.
Furnace heating systems use air. The air gets heated and distributed throughout the home via air ducts or blower motors. The heat from the furnace comes from burning fuel sources like gas, coal, wood pellets, or propane.
BOILER HEATING SYSTEMS PROS
- Energy-efficient: Boilers are more energy-efficient than furnaces because water can naturally hold more heat than air.
- Quiet: Boilers circulate hot water or steam throughout pipes to radiators or baseboard convectors. In old radiators, one may hear hissing or clanking as the metal expands and contracts, but it’s generally minimal.
- Consistent heat: Boilers rely on low-speed circulation systems instead of higher-speed fans used in furnaces, meaning even and quiet heat distribution throughout the building.
BOILER HEATING SYSTEMS CONS
- Higher installation and maintenance costs: Boilers can be costly due to their complex inner workings. Repairs could be costly if the boiler malfunctions due to intricate parts and components.
- Only heat: Boilers do not provide cooling or air-conditioning options. They are strictly used for heat generation.
- Leaks: Since boilers involve a network of pipes moving hot water around, the risk of leaks may increase.
FURNACE HEATING SYSTEMS PROS
- Highly flexible: A furnace can use different fuel sources, including oil, gas, or electricity. A furnace can often be retrofitted into an existing home.
- Highly responsive: Furnace heating systems provide a fast response time when heat is needed quickly.
- Few leaks: Since a furnace doesn’t use water like a boiler, it’s less likely to develop leaks over time. Even if a leak occurs, the air is less likely to cause severe damage.
- Affordable cost: Furnace heating systems are typically more affordable than other heating solutions due to their lower upfront and running costs.
FURNACE HEATING SYSTEMS CONS
- Noise: Furnace heating systems can be pretty noisy, especially when they start up. The noise can range from a low hum to an audible clanking or banging sound, depending on the unit’s age and condition.
- Lower air quality: If a furnace isn’t properly maintained and cleaned regularly, dust and dirt can affect the air quality inside the home.
- Insufficient heat consistency: Furnace heating systems may only sometimes provide consistent heat. Some rooms may feel hotter than others.
HOW AN HVAC COMPANY CAN HELP
An experienced heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning company can assess its needs and recommend a boiler or a furnace based on several factors. These factors include the size of the building, the existing infrastructure (ductwork/radiator), the level of insulation needed, lifestyle preferences, and budget.
An experienced team will be able to install, maintain, and repair either system quickly while ensuring proper installation standards are met.
Hacienda Air is a locally owned HVAC company offering air conditioning, heating, ductwork, air quality, and more to residential and commercial customers in North Las Vegas, Summerlin, and surrounding areas. Call us today at (702) 707-4953.