Comparing Furnaces and Boilers: A Guide

If you’re wondering whether you should install a furnace or a boiler in your home, then this guide is for you. We’ll cover the key differences between them.

If you live in a colder environment, then you probably know about the challenges of staying warm in the winter. The biting cold seems to seep in through the windows over the course of the fall season until you reach the point where you have to turn on the heating for the first time since last winter.

When the cold inevitably arrives, that heat will have to come from somewhere deep in your home, and there are a few different methods that are used for home heating. Today, we’re going to look at the differences between boilers and furnaces, so you can figure out which of them is the better option.


A furnace is an appliance which creates heat using electricity, oil, or another fuel, and combines it with air which is sent through the rest of the house to heat it up. Since furnaces have many fans and moving parts which are used to distribute the air, they will typically need more maintenance than boilers.

If you want to heat your home with a furnace, you will also need air vents, as that is how the hot air will be able to travel from the furnace into the rest of the house. Keep in mind that a Chicago furnace replacement will also cause air circulation in your home, which can be a positive or a negative for you, depending on your preferences.

However, furnaces have the key advantage of usually being more affordable to install than boilers, especially if it is an electric model. Setting up a furnace-based heating system in a home that is being built will often take considerably less work than it would install one that runs with a boiler.


On the other hand, boilers run using boiling water, as you would expect from the name, and they can heat it up using electricity, natural gas, oil, or a few other types of fuel. As you would expect, an electric boiler will often be simpler and won’t need to be refueled every so often, making it more convenient.

A boiler, unlike a furnace, will be responsible for heating the water in your home as well as heating the rest of the house, and you may be wondering how you can warm your home using water. Radiators in boiler-based systems will contain pipes through which the water is pumped.

When hot water runs through the pipes in the radiators, it transfers the heat to the air around it, making the room warmer. Unfortunately, this means that the pipes will have to be maintained to ensure that leaks don’t develop, and maintenance can get very costly with a boiler-based heating system.


In the end, the choice between furnaces and boilers will be up to you, as boilers tend to provide superior heating, but they will be more expensive and maintenance-intensive. Whether you’re looking to build a house, buy one, or if you were just curious, we hope this helped.