As a homeowner, you want to make sure your house is being heated properly and efficiently. The most important factor to consider is the type of heating system you use. Although both boilers and furnaces are common throughout Boston homes, most people are still fuzzy on how these heating systems compare.

Whether you’re remodeling your home or moving into a new property, you might have an opportunity to choose the best option. Here, we’ll take a look at the main differences and some similarities between boilers and furnaces to help Boston homeowners determine which is ideal for their heating needs.

Functionality

Boilers and furnaces are both designed to keep your home comfortable and warm, but each system accomplishes this goal in a different way.

As the name suggests, boilers transmit heat throughout your home using water that’s been heated by gas jets. After the water is heated, it’s pushed through a network of piping to individual radiators in your home. When the water passes through these radiators, it transmits heat energy to warm up the room before heading back to the boiler to be heated again.

Instead of relying on water, furnaces use warm air to get the job done. These appliances pull cool air from your home and heat it internally using natural gas or other types of fuel. Once the air is warm enough, a blower pushes it through a system of ductwork to reach all connected rooms.

Fuel

All residential heating systems require a fuel source to run. Although boilers and furnaces keep your home warm with different methods, both systems tend to use the same fuel sources. The most common type of residential boiler is powered by natural gas although there are some oil-fueled versions. Similarly, the majority of furnaces in Boston rely on natural gas to operate with others using electricity or oil. In general, natural gas is the more energy-efficient solution.

Note: Any Boston home with a heating system fueled by gas should have natural gas detectors to protect against the damage caused by leaks.

Energy Efficiency

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the energy required to heat your home eats up around 42% of your overall utility bill. That’s a bigger chunk than any other system in the average home. If you’re looking for a way to increase your home’s energy efficiency, your heating system is a great place to start. So, which is the most energy-efficient option between furnaces and boilers?

In reality, there’s no clear winner. It all depends on the type of furnace or boiler you have and your home’s heating demands. Fortunately, most modern heating appliances come with an annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating that measures how much of the system’s heat consumption actually becomes heat in your home. It’s important to work with a knowledgeable installer who can help you find, install and maintain high-efficiency furnaces or high-efficiency boilers so you can save money either way.

Lifespan

Boilers and furnaces are a significant investment for Boston homeowners, leading many to wonder how long each heating system lasts. Natural gas furnaces – which are the most popular kind – generally last between 15 and 20 years. Conversely, boilers can typically heat a home for around 10 to 15 years.

No matter which heating system you have, it’s crucial to schedule regular servicing from a reputable professional. These experts can catch issues you might have overlooked and provide necessary repairs to keep your home’s heating running smoothly. Routine maintenance can increase the lifespan of your unit to make sure you’re getting the most out of your investment.

Should I choose a boiler or furnace for my home?

As you can see, there are advantages and downsides to both types of heating systems. The best choice for one Boston homeowner might not be a good match for another. That’s why it’s important to work with an experienced professional like Boston Standard Plumbing to ensure you’re getting all the information you need. We offer installation services for furnaces and boilers and can guide you through the selection process to make sure your home is heated properly. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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