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Boiler vs. Furnace – Which Is Better?

Boilers and furnaces are two of the oldest home heating methods in existence. They also happen to be the most popular options across the country. So, which one is the best choice for a new system? Well, that isn’t really a simple question to answer. Neither system is objectively “better” than the other one. A better question would be: “which system will fit my needs best?” It is this question that we will attempt to answer. We’ll start with the boiler.


The first thing you need to know about boilers is that they rely on water to transport heat throughout the house. This necessitates a completely different delivery system from the ducts that most forced air systems use. Installing a boiler system begins with installing water pipes in the walls or subfloor of every room that needs heating. These pipes are then connected to the boiler, which heats and pumps water throughout the house.

As the water travels through these pipes, heat radiates through the pipes and out into the room. This is called “radiant heating.” Radiant heating has a few advantages over forced air heating. It tends to heat a room more evenly and, keep it warm long after the system has turned off. This is because the heat is transferred between solid objects, rather than through warm air that tends to collect on the ceiling of a room.

The disadvantages of boiler systems include the cost of installation, as most homes don’t already have the required pipe network installed. Repairs can also be a bit of an issue, since the pipes are located in the floor and are more difficult to get too.


Furnaces are forced air systems. That means that they distribute heat by blowing warm air through the ductwork of a house and into each room. Most houses are already equipped with ductwork, so installing a furnace is often as simple as hooking up the gas lines (though you should still have a professional do it.)

Furnaces have the advantage of having most of their infrastructure already in place, making them cheaper to install than boiler systems. They also tend to be cheaper to repair than boiler systems. The disadvantages of furnace systems include less efficient heating, due to air being a less efficient delivery system for heat.

If you are thinking about installing a new heater in Salt Lake City, call At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air.

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