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Furnace vs boiler: have you ever wondered how they differ from one another? In this post, we explain the differences between the two.

Furnace vs Boiler: Which One Is for You? | Home Heating Tips

Furnace vs boiler: many homeowners have wondered how they differ from one another. A heater during the winter is a homeowner’s best friend, but you must pick your friends wisely. Choosing between a furnace and a boiler is a difficult decision to make. Should you use air or water to heat your home? We understand this frustration and would like to map out their qualities to give our Monroe neighbors all the information they need to make the best decision.

What's The Difference Between a Furnace and a Boiler?

If you are in the market for a new heater, keep these furnaces vs boiler facts in mind:

Furnace Facts

  • Furnaces are a common heater for homes, but that does not mean they are better.
  • A furnace works by warming and circulating air through ductwork with a blower motor, which is then released through vents into rooms.
  • Furnaces can be powered by natural gas, heating oil, induction, or electricity.
  • Furnaces are more durable than boilers and can handle leaks and low temperatures more proficiently.
  • They are less expensive than boilers and take less time to install.
  • Furnaces require filters that must be replaced once a month.
  • Warm air is harder to distribute evenly, some rooms may not receive proper heat.
  • Furnaces make more noise than boilers.
  • Fuel consumption is quicker than a boiler.
  • On average, a furnace lasts 15 years.

Boiler Facts

  • A boiler uses water to provide heat, and there are steam and hot water boilers.
  • Steam boilers heat up water and distribute the steam through a piping system.
  • Hot water boilers circulate the hot water directly through a pump.
  • Boilers can be powered by natural gas, oil, electricity, or biodiesel blends.
  • Boilers are less durable than furnaces, with leaks causing water to seep out, and low temperatures causing freezing.
  • Boilers require longer installation and cost more than a furnace.
  • Boilers do not require filters to function.
  • Heat distributed by boilers is better controlled and more consistent.
  • Boilers make less noise than a furnace.
  • Fuel consumption is slower than a furnace.
  • On average, a boiler lasts 15 years, the same as a furnace.

Furnace Vs Boiler: How to Choose

Determine the best heating system by first examining the annual fuel use efficiency, (or AFUE for short). The AFUE measures energy input to energy output. For example, a furnace with an AFUE of 83 means the furnace consumes 83% of the energy it receives. Several factors determine AFUE, from fuel type to model to age. Energy Star certified furnaces and boilers save you money and cut down on energy usage with their high AFUE. Next, you must consider time and location. In Monroe, winter means freezing temperatures, so a boiler system might not be the ideal heating method for a home.


Consulting with a professional is the best route. Iceberg Heating & Cooling can help you choose the right heater for your cold weather needs. Our trained technicians will meet with you and help assess whether a furnace or boiler is right for your Monroe home. With affordable pricing and quality service, Iceberg is your trusted choice for home services. Give us a call at (734) 375-1119 to schedule an appointment – and keep warm throughout the winter!

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