Furnace vs Boiler
The difference between furnace and boiler is primarily in the method they follow to produce heat. Furnace and boiler are two techniques that are used all over the country to heat a home. Both are effective ways to provide warmth to a home, but they are basically different methods having their unique advantages and disadvantages. People who do not understand the physics or working principles behind furnace and boiler remain confused between the two heating methods, and cannot make a right choice. This article attempts to find out the differences between the two heating methods so as to enable home owners to make a correct choice depending upon their circumstances and requirements.
What is a Furnace?
Furnaces heat air and distribute this air throughout the house to keep it warm. Once the furnace heats the air, a blower chases the hot air to a duct system. Then, the warm air is distributed everywhere in your house through vents or registers that are there on your walls, ceilings, or floors. When it comes to maintaining a furnace system, you need to clean or change air filter frequently. This cleaning or changing may be required every quarter or as early as every month depending upon location and requirements of the home. For those who are using a furnace system that distributes hot air throughout the house, the ability to heat rooms differently is not presented. There is a centrally located thermostat that heats different areas of the house uniformly. When it comes to humidity, in case of furnace system being utilized, one needs to have a humidifier installed in rooms or attached to the system.
What is a Boiler?
Boilers heat up water and then use this heat of water or steam to heat the house. To distribute steam throughout the house, pipes are used that carry steam to steam radiators. On the other hand, hot water can keep the house warm through radiant floor heating systems or by heating air through a coil system. By now, you can understand that even knowing these basic differences between a furnace and a boiler does not take us any closer to finding a solution to our problem of heating our home in the most efficient manner. There are manufacturers of both boiler and furnace based systems, and they are giving long enough warranties.
So, you can pay attention to the maintenance. You will see that when it comes to a boiler system, you need to bleed away excess air from the boiler system periodically. You can know when to bleed away air from the boiler, when the rooms are not getting heated sufficiently. When it comes to servicing, you only need to service your boiler once a year. If you have a cast iron gas boiler, you will be able to use it for years with only minimal service.
One advantage that a boiler system provides to users is the ability to heat rooms differently with the help of thermostats that can be set depending upon requirements. This means that you can only heat the rooms that are needed while leaving out the rooms that are not used or used rarely. Another advantage of a boiler system is the higher humidity levels in the air inside the house.
What is the difference between Furnace and Boiler Systems?
Boiler and furnace systems are used to heat up homes throughout the country.
• Both furnace and boiler are used to maintain heat inside the house.
• Definition of Furnace and Boiler:
• Boiler, as the name implies, boils water and uses the heat of the water or steam to keep the home warm.
• On the other hand, a furnace heats up the air and send this hot air through pipes throughout the home to keep it warm.
• Use of Thermostat:
• Boiler system has the ability to heat only the rooms that are being used with the help of thermostats.
• You cannot heat the rooms independently in the case of furnaces that have a centrally located thermostat.
• You only have to service the boiler system about once a year.
• You have to change the air filters in the furnaces at least once a month.
• Boiler system does not spread germs around your house.
• Furnace system is capable of spreading germs around your house.
• With boiler system, the humidity level inside the house is high.
• With furnace system, the humidity level inside the house is low.
- A condensing furnace via Wikicommons (Public Domain)
- Gas-fired tankless condensing boiler with hot water storage tank (US) by Audetat (CC BY-SA 3.0)