A metal radiator is near a window

Should You Get a Furnace or Boiler to Heat Your Home?

Your home should be warm and toasty in the winter to keep you and your family happy and healthy. If you aren’t because your heating system can’t keep up with the cold, then it is time to consider installing a new one. But before you reach for your wallet, what type of heating system should you get: a furnace or a boiler?

How a Furnace Functions

To warm your house, a furnace uses heated air. A gas burner or electrical components can heat the air inside your furnace before it is blown through ductwork using a blower motor. As the air moves throughout the ducts, it leaves through open vents, often placed in key spots throughout your home.

Furnaces are fairly common due to their easy functionality, generally-low maintenance requirements, and good cost-efficiency. However, heating air and then flowing it from room to the next is not the most efficient way to heat a home. Indeed, the room furthest from the furnace may struggle to reach the set temperature as the hot air is redistributed elsewhere along the ducts.

How a Boiler Functions

A boiler uses another heated element to warm up your home: water. By burning gas, oil, or wood – or even through electrical heating components – a boiler heats water stored within its system. The hot water flows through pipes all around your home and into radiators before flowing back to the boiler to be reheated.

If you see a metal radiator – it looks a lot like the radiator in your car – in your home, then you have a boiler. Although, some boiler systems use pipework that is entirely hidden in the walls and flooring, called a hydronic heat system.

Boilers are great for creating radiant heat that fights off the cold quickly. Since the hot water pipes of the boiler system run throughout your home, the heat is distributed evenly – no need to worry if the last room in the house is getting warm. The downsides to a boiler are they can be most expensive to run than a furnace, and your home may need additional modifications for installation, such as pipework installed in the flooring for a hydronic heat system.

Wondering Furnace or Boiler? We Can Help

At Roy’s Plumbing, Heating & Cooling in Buffalo, New York, our heating system experts would be happy to help you decide if you should be getting a furnace or boiler for your home. By considering your preferences, your budget, and your home’s layout, we can help you make the right choice. We are also accomplished plumbers, so we can help with any plumbing work needed in case you decide upon a boiler.

Call us at (716) 215-2678 to learn more about our services and your choices when picking a new heating system.

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