What Is The Difference Between A Furnace And A Boiler?

We always want to make sure that we get the most out of our money. That is why we understand how important it is to know specific details of certain investments, like choosing the best heating system. How do we know which type of heating system is right for our home? What is the difference between the types of systems? While both equipment deliver the same function as heating the room and are proven to be effective in warming homes, each equipment has a different heating method. Understanding these differences might just help you save hundreds of dollars or simply help your handyman save a lot of work.

What’s The Difference?

A furnace is a type of heating system that uses air to heat the room. The air that goes into the furnace machine is being heated through a heat exchanger, which is then pushed out to the room through a ductwork.


If you wish to get the most out of your furnace, keep your filters clean. Furnaces have filters to prevent dust and dirt from coming in. It is highly recommended that you change this monthly to enjoy optimal air quality. Upon changing the filters, make sure the furnace is off and ensure that the furnace is properly closed once you are done with the cleaning.


A boiler, on the other hand, uses water as a medium to heat the home. It comes in two general types – a “hot water boiler” and a “steam boiler”. With a “hot water boiler,” water heated in the boiler’s combustion chamber is pumped up by a circulator through pipes. This then heats the baseboards or radiators that warms the room. With a “steam boiler,” water is being turned into steam, which then rises to the pipes then to the radiators.


To get the most out of your boiler, always check your baseboards or radiators are not blocked or clogged. Make it a habit to change the water to avoid shutdowns.

Which Is Better For You And Your Home?

In order for you to make the best choice for your home, it is important to keep in mind the differences between a boiler and a furnace. It would also be wise to consider and weigh the pros and cons for each heating system. As a treat, we have listed some below.

  • You can enjoy steady warm temperatures all year round with the use of a boiler. But the same warm air that heats the room also makes the house drafty. Hence, this could be a bit of an inconvenience.
  • The house is more dust- and allergen-free when you use boilers compared to furnaces or other forced-air systems.
  • Building a boiler requires more than just putting together a ductwork like the furnace. You need to have a water tank for the water supply which would mean additional cost for the household.
  • Since furnaces use filters for a dust free air, a monthly replacement is required for an optimal air quality. Boilers, however, only require annual services and minimal maintenance through the whole year round.

It would, of course, make much more sense if you based your decision on your own budget and on your own needs. If you need help determining which heating system is right for you, call Builders Heating & Cooling at (708) 375-5228.