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What Is The Difference Between A Furnace And A Boiler?

January 3rd, 2018 by cverdone

Choosing the best heater is essential to keep your home warm and cozy. There are two different kinds of heaters, a furnace and a boiler. Some people even mistake a boiler as being the same thing as a furnace, when both equipment work differently. The difference lies mainly in how they produce heat and how that heat is distributed throughout the home.

What Is A Furnace?

A furnace is a heating unit that utilizes air. Air goes into the heater, where it’s warmed in a metal chamber then distributed around the home via the air ducts.

What Is A Boiler?

Compared to a furnace, a boiler uses water to create heat. The water circulates around the boiler combustion chamber, which is why they also call it a hydronic system. This heated water is then distributed around your home through the pipes. If your boiler also has a steam system, the water is heated until it becomes steam.

Further Functions

Whether you have a furnace or boiler, it is important to take proper care if it. For proper maintenance of balance inside your home make sure that your thermostat setting is set to “on” instead of auto. For your heater when it comes to changing the filters make sure that your system is switched off and the panel is securely closed once the filters have been changed. If the water level is low, it can lead to your boilers shutting down so make sure that the water gauge is checked properly in a certain period. If you feel like you’re not getting heat make sure that the bottom unit is not blocked.


Both a furnace and boiler operate in different ways when it comes to heat distribution. With a furnace the heat is transferred through a blower motor while a boiler distributes heat through water pipes with the use of a pump.


In order to ensure proper functionality with your equipment, make sure that your equipment is properly maintained. For a furnace change the air filter once a month to avoid it getting dusty which can lead to damages, with cleaning of the air filters, it can provide better air quality. For boilers, have it maintained on an annual basis. If you own a gas boiler, it won’t require that much maintenance compared to a regular boiler. In general make sure that your household is clean from clutter to ensure that there’s proper air flow around the area. You wouldn’t want your heater sucking in unwanted dirt.

Ask your HVAC professional about which would be best for your home. If you’re not looking to replace it anytime soon, they could check your current system and tailor their advice according to what’s installed in your home. Consult with the technician about any do-it-yourself tips and how to care for your system. These would depend on the type of heater you have.

Our HVAC specialists and staff at Thornton would love to cater to your related concerns. Call us at (847) 905-1608 and we’ll send one of our specialists right over.