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

Furnaces and boilers alike are very effective ways to provide a home with heat. However, there are differences between the two types of HVAC systems that might make one unit more appealing than the other, depending on your unique needs and heating demands. When the time comes to replace your current heating unit with either a boiler or furnace, it’s important to know the differences in order to make the best decision for your family.

In Schebler Heating and Air’s latest blog post, we discuss the differences between a furnace and a boiler to help you decide which unit is right for your home.

How Do Furnaces and Boilers Work?


Typically, furnaces are powered by gas. After the system is ignited, the furnace’s heat exchanger heats up and transfers heat to incoming cool air. Once heated, the warm air is pushed through the home’s ductwork via the furnace’s blower and distributed throughout the home. Cooler air can then be brought back into the furnace to repeat the process and to continue to provide warm air throughout the home.


Boilers typically will use gas or electricity to operate. After powering on, the boiler will use its energy source to heat up water and produce steam. The steam or heated water is then pushed through pipes around your home to heat the house up to the temperature you’ve set on the thermostat. Water is then returned to your boiler where the process is then repeated until your home has reached the set temperature or you turn your boiler off.

The Benefits of a Boiler

Energy Efficiency

Water is an excellent thermal conductor and thus doesn’t require as much energy to heat your home as other heating systems might require. This can help you save money on your energy bills and heat your home more effectively.

Less Maintenance

Boilers are fairly simple systems with very few moving parts. As a result, maintenance isn’t as necessary as it is with other types of HVAC systems. Though you should still schedule occasional maintenance to make sure everything is working properly, you’re less likely to experience issues with a boiler.

No Duct Leaks

Furnaces require ductwork in order to push heated air throughout all areas of the home. Over time, ductwork can develop leaks that lead to lost energy. Boilers don’t use ductwork, thus eliminating that potential issue.

The Benefits of a Furnace

High Indoor Air Quality

Furnaces are designed to provide your home with warm air, but they’re also responsible for monitoring and improving indoor air quality. These systems are equipped with filters that allow them to catch dirt, dust, pet dander, and other contaminants that might otherwise lower the quality of air within your home. 

Fast and Effective Heating

Furnace systems that use natural gas as an energy source have the quickest start-up times of all heating systems, allowing them to quickly and effectively provide a home with heat. With a furnace, you’ll experience warm and consistent temperatures all winter long.


Furnaces are typically the most affordable type of heating system. While other heating systems might have lower monthly energy costs, they’ll likely also come with much higher installation costs.

Contact Schebler Heating and Air for Heating Services in the Quad Cities

Schebler Heating and Air is proud to provide residents of the Quad Cities area with high-quality boiler and furnace services. No matter the unit that you choose, we’ll provide you with the installation, repair, and maintenance services you need to stay safe and comfortable all year long. Schedule services with our knowledgeable and experienced team today.