Boiler vs. Furnace: Which One Makes More Sense?

When it comes to boiler vs furnace - which one makes more sense, there are pros and cons to each. It really comes down to learning as much as you can about each and deciding which one better suits your needs and budget. With the advances in HVAC technology, both modern boilers and furnaces are energy efficient with Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) up to 98.5 percent.

Boiler vs Furnace - Which One Makes More Sense?

Also known as water tanks, boilers like furnaces use electricity, gas or oil to generate heat. The major difference is that water tanks use water to transfer heat instead of air like furnaces. With a furnace, the air is pushed via a blower across heated coils where it is then delivered to the home through ductwork. Furnaces are also known as forced air systems and require filters to keep the air clean in the home. With proper maintenance, these systems can last up to 25 years.

Modern water tanks use less energy to heat up.  These radiant heating systems transfer water to the radiators or baseboard heaters inside a house. Many consumers prefer water tanks to furnaces because this form of heat requires no ductwork. In addition, many consumers prefer boilers because of their ability to maintain comfortable humidity levels and even temperatures. Others prefer boilers because radiant floor heating can be added for a barefoot walk on warm floors. Boilers also don't turn on and off as much as furnaces do, since radiant heating systems can retain warmth much longer.

Even though today's furnaces come with variable speed blowers to reduce noise, water tanks operate silently. More pros for boilers include zone control and clean air. Since boilers don't blow allergens and dust in the home, the indoor air quality is better. With zone control, temperatures in individual rooms can be set higher or lower. This improves comfort levels along with reducing energy expenses.

With all that being said, you may wonder why boilers aren't the standard in most homes. The answer is probably the cost. Boilers are much more expensive than furnaces.  For many, deciding whether to install a boiler or furnace may come down to initial cost.  For those who are more concerned with energy efficiency and indoor air quality, some features of boilers might make it well worth the additional expense.

Thinking of building a home and debating between a boiler and furnace? Give us a call and allow us to help you choose what will work best in your new home!

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