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Boilers vs. Furnaces: Is One Better Than the Other?

The furnace and the boiler are the two most common types of heating systems seen in homes today. Since HVAC technology is only improving—increasing their safety, reliability, and efficiency—neither one of these systems is going anywhere anytime soon. If you’re in the market for a new heating system, then chances are either one of these or both of these are on your list. But which one is better?

There are significant differences between these two heaters, but to be honest, no one option is inherently a better choice than the other—it will depend on your specific needs, as well as your budget. It’s also important to keep in mind that they do share something in common—they are both extremely flexible as they can run off of a number of different fuel sources. Typically, furnaces run off of natural gas, electricity, or propane. Boilers use either gas, electricity, or oil.

Examining the Differences

Furnaces: These are forced-air systems that raise the temperature of the air through heat exchange, then utilize blower fans to send that heated air through ductwork and into your home. This is either powered by electric heating element in electrical powered furnaces or gas jets in gas and propane-powered furnaces.

Boilers: These heating systems do not use forced air to provide heat, and thus do not require ductwork, which is an advantage to many homeowners. They instead use heated water in a tank, which a pump then sends through pipes to various end point inside the home—radiators or baseboard heaters. This whole process is called radiant heating, where the temperature of an object is raised so that it warms the area around it.

There are benefits and disadvantages to each type of heating system on the market. In the furnace vs. boiler case, furnaces have low initial installation costs and won’t freeze up in the winter, however suffer from more frequent repair needs and typically have shorter lifecycles. Boilers produce cleaner heat, but can freeze during extremely cold weather.

No matter what your Allendale, NJ heating service needs may be, you can count on DB Heating & Cooling, Inc. We provide HVAC services throughout Bergen County, NJ as well as Rockland County, NY.

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