Written on: February 12, 2024
If you’ve never given much thought to your heating equipment before, you may use the words “boiler” and “furnace” interchangeably. In casual conversation, it might not make a difference but if you’re shopping for or building a new home, or if you’re looking to replace your current heating system, understanding the difference is important. As you start to do your research, you’ll discover they are not the same. So, what’s the difference between a boiler and a furnace? In a nutshell, the main difference is how they distribute heat. A furnace uses a system of ducts to blow heated air throughout your home. A boiler heats water to create steam to spread heat via baseboard radiators or flooring systems. Boilers are one of the most common types of home heating equipment here in the Northeast for good reason: They’re efficient and effective at generating steady, consistent warmth.
There are two types of boilers. Forced hot water boilers heat water to between 170 degrees and 200 degrees and provide instant heat through pipes throughout the house. Vents in the baseboard then disperse the heat throughout the house.
Steam boilers create steam and sends it to radiators as a vapor. When the vapor cools, it returns to the boiler to become steam again. Because it’s still hot—just not hot enough to produce steam—it takes less energy to reheat the water when it passes through the system each time. That’s one way a radiant system is more efficient.
Radiant floor heating warms the objects and people in the room rather than the air around them. The heat is transferred to people and objects in the room via infrared radiation, like heat from the sun. this makes a radiant heat system about 15% more efficient than other heating systems. Another nice benefit is that even ceramic tile floors are warm under your bare feet in the winter.
Still, radiant heating systems aren’t perfect for every home. They can be expensive to install retroactively, and they can raise your floors by as much as a half an inch: Good to know if you have low ceilings. It can also affect doors and doorways between rooms. Lastly, because it’s installed under the floor, it’s much harder to access the heating elements for repairs or maintenance.
How you heat your home has a big impact on your comfort. It can also make a big difference in what you spend each month to keep comfortable. That’s a lot to think about if you’re planning a renovation, or building or buying a new home.
When it comes to heating your Fairfield County, Connecticut, home, a boiler is a great option. We can help you choose the best model for your home, budget, and preferences. Not sure what’s the right choice for you? We’re happy to answer all your questions and walk you through your options. If a furnace might be a better choice, we’ll explain why. And once you decide, you can rely on the experts at Marandola to install your equipment correctly to insure it keeps your home comfortable for decades to come, and reliably deliver the fuel to keep it running.
Helping you keep your home warm and comfortable is our biggest priority. Contact us today for more information.