Comparing Boilers to Furnaces

A Comparison of Boilers to Furnaces

Boilers and Furnaces heat your home or business in different ways, and each has advantages and disadvantages. We have some basic comparisons outlined to help you make the best choice for your home.

Boilers and furnaces will both heat your home, but in different ways. Boilers heat water and distribute either the steam or the hot water through pipes which radiate the heat throughout your home. Furnaces heat the air, and transfer the warm air via a duct system.


There are two types of boilers that heat your home in via pipes throughout your home.

  • Steam Boilers heat water to create steam, which is then transferred through pipes to steam radiators located throughout a building.
  • Hot water boilers circulate heated water throughout your home via baseboard radiators or radiant flooring.

Hydronic heat systems (boilers) can function with a variety of fuel source options. The most common and efficient boilers use either natural gas or oil to heat the water. Other options include electric boilers, or alternative choices such as wood pellets, coal or firewood.

Advantages of Boilers

  • A more consistent heat throughout the home
  • On average, boilers generally are more efficient and use less fuel than furnaces
  • Quieter as it doesn’t require fans to move the heated air
  • Fewer allergens and dust – better quality air in the home
  • No filters to replace or clean


Unlike boilers, furnaces heat the air, then distributes it throughout your home with a blower. The heated air is forced through ducts and vents in the various rooms in your home.

Furnaces (forced hot air systems) can also run on a variety of different types of fuel including: natural gas, propane, oil or electricity.

Advantages of Furnaces

  • Much easier to install and repair
  • Initial cost savings on installation and materials required
  • Ability to heat the home faster
  • No concerns of leaking or freezing

Please note that these are general guidelines, if you are considering the best type of heating source for a new or existing home, you should consult the experts at Mohawk Heating Company. Our trained professionals will assess your home, guide you through the process, and help you determine the best options for your home’s heating source.

Contact us today!