At Onze Southern Connecticut Plumbing and Heating we receive calls each and every week from potential customers regarding their furnace. They are looking for service and repair, pricing on a complete replacement or have a desire to convert from oil to gas.
We smile each time we go through the process of gathering the customers information. The vast majority of these calls start out with the customer stating they would like information on their furnace, our next question is, do you have a furnace or a boiler? They proceed to say, I have a furnace! or, I think I have a furnace, what’s the difference?
Here is a short tutorial on the difference between a furnace and a boiler.
A furnace delivers heated air through a series of hidden ducts to grills that are visible in the floors or overhead in the ceilings. Many of these systems are combined with the air conditioning and both the warmed and cooled air are distributed from the grills or registers.
A boiler heats water which is then circulated throughout the home to baseboard or radiators or other decorative items normally located along the exterior walls of each room. These heat transmitters in turn slowly heat the air and objects in the room.
Both of these systems are capable of providing reliable heating for your home, but often times the furnace owners mention that their home feels drafty has cold spots and the temperature fluctuations are dramatic.
On the other hand boilers provide the customer with a multitude of heating options. Domestic hot water for showering and plumbing fixtures can be produced from a boiler, this not possible with a furnace. Snow melting, radiant heat, warm floors and warm tiles can all be add on components.
The heat delivery from a boiler is typically much more consistent with no blowing air or the moving of allergens and dust throughout the home.
Both boilers and furnaces need proper annual maintenance to protect your investment and to provide years of reliable service from your heating equipment.
So next time you call in for service and repair, you can, as a well informed consumer state clearly, my boiler or my furnace needs attention. And we will still smile knowing we have a customer who is familiar with their own home.