Furnaces vs. Boilers - Heatmasters
3 minutes read

Furnaces vs. Boilers

Published by Steven Weiland

Heating systems vary in how they function and different types may be more suitable for your needs or your budget. Two common types of heating systems are furnaces and boilers. Each is designed to heat a building, but both work differently, and thus have different benefits. Many homes have one system or the other already in place. However, if you are thinking of purchasing a system, you should know the differences beforehand to make an informed decision. Here, we compare furnaces vs. boilers.


Furnaces generally heat air that is send throughout your home through a duct system. The hot air comes out of the vents and circulates throughout your home to make it warmer. Furnaces respond to a signal sent by your home’s thermostat when temperatures fall below a certain setting. The burners are then signaled and the furnace begins distributing hot air to the rest of your home. The exhaust is discharged outside your home via a vent. Furnaces have filters to clean the air so the dirty air doesn’t adversely affect operation. This means that furnace filters need to be changed. How often you need to change furnace filters depends on the furnace, but a good rule of thumb is about every month.


Boilers operate a little differently. Instead of heating up air that is circulated throughout your home, boilers heat water that is distributed through pipes using either baseboards, radiators, or radiant flooring systems. Some boilers push steam through pipes to heat your home. Baseboards go along the bottoms of walls in the room and distribute heat from there. Radiators are mechanisms that heat the rooms they are in through the hot water provided by a boiler. Cast-iron radiators are generally found in homes constructed before the mid-20th century. Radiant flooring systems sit beneath the floorboards and distribute heat through hot water tubes or electric wires. Heat rises from the floor and warms the room around you.

At Heatmasters, we provide both furnace and boiler options. Whether you are looking for repair, maintenance, or installation, we can provide you with one of our experienced Comfort Consultants. We have served the Chicagoland area’s HVAC needs since 1950. Our product offerings are extensive, and our experience is unmatched. Our consultants can help further explain the differences between furnaces and boilers, and help you make the smart choice for your home. They will go over what will work for your budget and what will make you as comfortable as possible. Call to set up an appointment today at 1 (800) HEATING.

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