What’s the Difference Between a Boiler and a Furnace?

What’s the Difference Between a Boiler and a Furnace?

  • Heating
  • Uncategorized
Explore the key differences between a boiler and a furnace and consult with the professionals at North Shore Home Energy!

In the world of home heating, boilers and furnaces play vital roles in keeping our homes warm and cozy during the colder months. But have you ever wondered what’s the difference between a boiler and a furnace? In this article, we’ll dive into the differences between a boiler and a furnace, explore how they work, and discuss their benefits and drawbacks. Whether you’re planning to upgrade your heating system or simply curious about the options available, this guide will help you make an informed decision. Our expert technicians at North Shore Home Energy can help you make the right choice when it comes to picking a heating system. Contact us today to learn more about your heating options and our heating services!

What’s the Difference Between a Boiler and a Furnace?

When it comes to heating your home, understanding the fundamental differences between a boiler and a furnace is the first step in making an informed choice. These two heating systems, while both essential for keeping your living spaces warm, operate in distinct ways. Let’s begin by exploring what exactly a boiler is and how it operates to provide warmth and comfort.

What is a Boiler? 

A boiler is a heating system that utilizes water to distribute heat throughout your home. Boilers heat water through various heat sources, such as gas, oil, or electricity. It heats water and then circulates it through pipes and radiators or underfloor heating systems. As the hot water flows through these elements, it releases heat into the rooms, making them comfortably warm.

What is a Furnace? 

On the other hand, a furnace is a heating system that heats the air directly. Furnaces operate by burning fuel (usually gas or oil) or using electric resistance to generate heat and then use a fan to distribute the heated air throughout your home via ductwork. The warm air is delivered through vents or registers, ensuring consistent warmth in every room.

Boiler Benefits and Drawbacks

Boilers are the unsung heroes of home heating systems, quietly and efficiently keeping our living spaces warm and cozy during the coldest months of the year. These systems may not always be in the spotlight, but they play a vital role in maintaining our comfort. Let’s discuss some of their benefits and drawbacks.

Boiler Benefits

  • Even and comfortable heating
  • Ideal for homes with radiant floor heating
  • High energy efficiency
  • Quiet operation

Boiler Drawbacks

  • Slower heating response time
  • Requires a separate hot water tank in some cases
  • Initial installation costs can be higher

Furnace Benefits and Drawbacks

Furnaces, the workhorses of home heating, are the backbone of many households’ comfort during chilly seasons. While they may not always steal the limelight, these systems are responsible for keeping our homes warm and welcoming. Here are some of the benefits and drawbacks of furnaces.

Furnace Benefits

  • Quick heating response time
  • Suitable for homes with existing ductwork
  • Lower initial installation cost
  • Air filtration options for improved indoor air quality

Furnace Drawbacks

  • May lead to uneven heating
  • Ducts require regular maintenance
  • Lower energy efficiency compared to some boilers

Which is the Right System for You?

When choosing between a boiler and a furnace, several factors come into play:

  • Existing Infrastructure: A furnace may be a more cost-effective option if you already have ductwork in your home. On the other hand, if you’re starting from scratch or have radiant heating, a boiler might be the better choice.
  • Fuel Availability: Consider the availability and cost of the fuel sources in your area, whether it’s natural gas, oil, or electricity.
  • Budget: Your budget and long-term heating expenses should influence your decision. Boilers generally have higher upfront costs but can offer energy savings over time.
  • Personal Comfort: Think about your heating preferences. Do you prioritize even, radiant heat or quick warm-up times?

Consult an Expert – North Shore Home Energy

Choosing the right heating system for your home is a significant decision. Sometimes, it’s best to get a professional opinion. To make an informed choice tailored to your specific needs, we recommend consulting experts like North Shore Home Energy. Our experienced professionals can assess your home, discuss your preferences, and guide you toward the best heating solution. Big decisions like these are best to be talked about with experts to avoid making the wrong choice that could lead to dissatisfaction and expensive prices. 

Boiler vs Furnace: Which Will You Choose?

Understanding what’s the difference between a boiler and a furnace is crucial when it comes to heating your home effectively and efficiently. Both systems have their advantages and disadvantages, so it’s essential to weigh your options carefully. Whether you opt for a boiler’s consistent warmth or a furnace’s rapid heating, the right choice ultimately depends on your unique circumstances and preferences. Consult with experts at North Shore Home Energy to ensure your home stays warm and comfortable throughout the seasons. Contact us today to consult your heating options and learn about our heating services!

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By brenna@admachines.com

7 Affordable Ways To Stay Warm In Your Bedroom This Winter

7 Affordable Ways To Stay Warm In Your Bedroom This Winter

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7 affordable ways to stay warm in your bedroom this winter

With the chill of winter descending upon us, now is the time of year when many of us like to curl up under a blanket and warm up. We tend to rely heavily on our HVAC systems and furnaces in order to remain cozy during the cold season. However, with the increased use of these heating systems come higher bills come to the end of the month. Fear not! Here are somw cheaper alternatives to give your furnace and heating system a vacation. With any luck, these affordable ways to stay warm in your bedroom this winter can yield practical results for your home.

Use Warmer Bedding

Instead of turning your thermostat up during the winter, try using warmer bed sheets. Remove sateen sheets and substitute a down-filled comforter. In addition, you can employ the use of an electric blanket. If you decide to use the electric blanket, make sure that it is on top of the other blankets when in use. Electric blankets can be serious fire hazards if improperly handled. As a surrogate, consider using an electric mattress pad, which warms the bed from underneath the sheets. It is a safer alternative to the electric blanket.

Buy a Space Heater

On those cold nights, instead of turning up the central heating system, why not use a space heater. When choosing one, make sure that the heater is suitable for the size of the room. The typical capacities of these units tend to range between 10,000 and 40,000 Btu’s. These units tend to be powered by electricity as well as gas, propane and even kerosene.

Make sure the heater is not in contact with any bed sheets or anything flammable. Check out the following link for 9 reasons to invest in a space heater.

Relocate Your Bed

If your bed is located close to a window, it is beneficial that you move it to another location away from the window in your bedroom. Glass, even if it is multi-paned, it is still prone to cooling down thus making your room colder as well.

Cover the Windows

Outside temperatures often are transferred between glasses; heavier window shades during the winter would be ideal to maintain any sort of heat within the home and to keep the cold at bay.

Lay Down a Thick Rug

If you have hardwood flooring in your room at home, chances are that the temperature will affect it. Consider placing a thick throw rug or even a sheepskin to keep your feet warm when waking in the morning.

Wear Socks and a Knit Hat

If your significant other likes it on the cool side, but you’re shivering at night, warm yourself up by slipping on thick socks before climbing between the sheets (as a bonus, you’ll sleep better when your feet are warm) and add a knit cap to keep your head cozy. After all, there’s a reason those old-time illustrations show people sleeping in long, pointed caps.

Use a Heated Water Bottle

Instead of utilizing an electric blanket or using heavier comforters, why not use a heated water bottle? If placed under your sheets on a cold night, it can provide a very affordable way to stay warm in your bedroom this winter.

If you find your house too cold though, you may need a furnace inspection, repair, or even a replacement. Be sure to contact North Shore Home Energy today, and check out our awesome reviews!

By nshec

How Often Should I Get My Furnace Serviced?

How Often Should I Get My Furnace Serviced?

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The summer’s behind us and the cold of the winter months is approaching, which means most homeowners find themselves asking this question eventually: How often SHOULD I get My furnace serviced? Common sense dictates you should have an HVAC professional come in regularly to assess your system, but how regularly? Yearly? Biannually? Once every few years? If you want to properly understand how often your furnace needs service, it’s important to know the reasons why it needs service to begin with.

Type of Furnaces

There are four main types of furnaces you can find in the average American home: gas, oil, electric, and propane. Each of these furnaces offer different pros and cons, but the vast majority of them only require annual servicing. Propane furnaces, on the other hand, require some TLC twice a year; every six months ideally. Most HVAC professionals will tell you to get the service in the shoulder seasons during the fall and the spring; before and after it gets the most use.

Detect Potential Problems

The biggest reason you want to get service is to get professional eyes on the furnace; eyes that will be able to see red flags that the average homeowner can easily miss. Cracks in the heat exchanger, worn out parts, internal rust and decay, and other signs of imminent system breakdown. It’s a lot like going to the doctor: the more often you go, the easier it is to catch warning signs of a larger problem down the road. And, like health problems, catching them early makes fixing them a lot easier and a lot cheaper.

Keep A Valid Warranty

Most manufacturers require homeowners to keep up with regular maintenance to maintain a valid warranty. If your furnace breaks and the problem falls under the warranty, the manufacturer will likely ask you for the maintenance records. Without them, they can claim negligence on your part and void the warranty, making you pay for the repair within the warranty period. In the event of a major emergency, you want the peace of mind knowing that your warranty will cover any massive unexpected breakdown of your system.

Carbon Monoxide Leaks

One of the worst case scenarios for your furnace is to start leaking dangerous carbon monoxide gas. While it may sound similar to the harmless carbon dioxide we breathe out, don’t be fooled. Carbon monoxide, or CO, is an insidiously harmful as without any sort of odor. Prolonged exposure to the gas can cause fainting and even death. Specialized detectors can find it in your home, but the obvious preference is for it to stay out of your home entirely. Furnace leaks are one of the most common sources of CO in homes. Cracks in heat exchangers are the main culprit. Regular maintenance can identify the early warning signs of CO leaks in your furnace and help you act before it’s too late.

The Takeaway

“How Often Should I Get My Furnace Serviced?” Probably once a year, if not twice. Spring and fall are the two best possible times for this to happen; right before the opening of heating season and right after it’s over. Being September in New England, we know how quickly the weather can get cold. We got snow last year for Halloween. Make sure your furnace is ready for what’s to come and schedule some furnace service from Dempsey Energy today.

If you have questions about energy efficient plumbing, contact us online or call our office at (617) 668-1086. We look forward to hearing from you!

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By nshec