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What’s the Difference Between Boilers and Furnaces?

Written on: December 18, 2023

AFC provides expert heating system installation and service

heating equipment clinton, me There are multiple options when it comes to home heating. Here in Central Maine, the two most common heating systems are boilers and furnaces.

AFC is the area’s leader for installation, maintenance, and repairs for both furnaces and boilers . Our affordable Comfort Plans provide maintenance tune-up and coverage for many parts and labor costs for repairs. Every one of our service technicians is licensed, skilled, and experienced, and all of our furnace and boiler work is backed up by the AFC Comfort Guarantee.

How does a boiler work?

Boilers are a vital component in heating your home by utilizing heated water. They work by heating the water and distributing either hot water or steam throughout your home to provide warmth. In the case of steam boilers, the steam is transported through pipes to radiators. Alternatively, with hydronic boilers, the heated water flows to baseboard radiators, under-floor radiant floor systems, or a coil that warms the air.

Boilers offer consistent, steady, and comfortable heating without the drying effect. Additionally, boilers boast a lengthy lifespan, typically ranging from 15 to 20 years. Due to their closed system design, boilers can achieve high energy efficiency levels.

How does a furnace work?

A furnace is responsible for regulating the temperature in your home. It achieves this by circulating heated air throughout the house. The air enters the furnace through a return, where it gets heated. The warm air is then distributed through the ductwork, reaching every room in your home through vents.

Propane, heating oil, natural gas, and electricity are all commonly employed to fuel furnaces, making them the prevailing choice for heating systems in the market today.

Choosing between a boiler and furnace

If you are building a new home, or in the market for a new home, you have a choice when it comes to your heating system. We’ve assembled some pros and cons for both boilers and furnaces to help you decide.

Boiler Pros Boiler Cons
The boiler’s humidified heat provides an exceptionally comfortable environment. Boilers require more time than furnaces to warm up a room once turned on.
Boilers do not circulate air, minimizing the dispersion of airborne toxins and debris. Installation of boiler systems demands additional labor and time.
Boiler systems are typically quieter compared to forced-air systems. In contrast to furnaces, boilers have the potential to develop leaks that can result in water damage.
Furnace Pros Furnace Cons
Furnaces provide faster heating for your home, increasing efficiency and comfort. A forced-air system has the potential to circulate harmful toxins, allergens, and debris.
The ductwork of a forced-air system can typically be utilized for a central air conditioning system as well. Forced-air systems can sometimes be loud.
Furnaces are frequently more affordable to operate compared to boilers. Forced-air systems tend to dry the air, which can dry out your skin and damage furniture, electronics, and textiles.

Get expert boiler or furnace installation and service from AFC! Contact us today for more information.