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January 29, 2016
Winter has hit Rhode Island residents with full steam, and it’s not letting up anytime soon. Understandably, this has many homeowners taking a closer look at their home heating systems in an attempt to increase their home comfort for the months ahead. For those who aren’t well-versed in the finer points of home performance, understanding how the home is heated can be elusive; the confusion can often come down to the differences between boilers and furnaces.
Both of these systems can be used to heat your home, but how do they differ from one another? Here are a few things you need to know about how boilers and furnaces operate, and which is right for your home.
The first thing to understand about how furnaces and boilers differ is in regards to their methods of heating—hot air vs. water. Furnaces heat your home in the first way, using hot air. The hot air gets distributed throughout the home via the blower motor and your home's duct system. Furnaces are extremely common in New England, and while older units can have a hard time keeping up with heating needs, new furnaces are very effective and energy efficient.
Boilers differ from furnaces in one major way: they use water instead of air. Hot water is distributed through pipes that snake throughout the home by a pump that is used to heat either baseboards, cast-iron radiators or even radiant flooring systems. Steam boilers distribute steam through a piping network, which eventually heats the home’s radiators. These are both referred to as “hydronic heating systems” and can run off of gas, oil, electricity or alternative fuel sources, such as wood pellets.
Which Heating System is Better?
There are a variety of things that need to be taken into consideration when choosing a heating system. Whether or not a furnace or boiler is better for your home depends on the home itself. At CARJON, our team of home performance professionals can help to determine the most effective direction for you to take, whether it be a it be a furnace or boiler; standard or high efficiency; gas, propane or oil; or maybe even a heat pump!. No matter what you need, CARJON has the right solution for you, and will work with you to fit the specific needs of your home.
Both systems can provide an excellent source of heat for your home, if properly maintained. Whatever heating system your home is equipped with, remember to contact CARJON for regular maintenance.