Ask the average homeowner what is heating their home and, without flinching, they’ll tell you it's their furnace. Some homes and businesses, however, are heated using boilers and not furnaces. While they both perform the same function, they operate in different ways. Below is a description of each and why know the difference is essential.


Back to the Basics

We install both heaters and boilers in residential and commercial properties. Since each home and business structure presents its own set of challenges, we make recommendations to the owners as to which system is the most beneficial in their situation. What it comes down to is how each operates. For instance, boilers use hot water to heat the inside of your building. Furnaces, on the other hand, use air to warm up the system. These different approaches require manufacturers to build the units to according to detailed specifications.



A furnace heats the air inside a central unit and then forces the air through a network of air ducts into each room in your building. A fan circulates the air around the building's interior and back through the unit. Installers place a filter in front of the unit’s entryway where the air flows back through. This method keeps the air clean.


When we install a furnace, our goal is to place the unit somewhere in the center of the home and equip it with appropriate filters. Thus, the term central heating and air. A thermostat controls the air temperature. Because the air circulated through the home, you may request that we install a whole-house air cleaning system inside the unit. For the most part, furnaces are among the most energy-efficient systems used today.



Boilers function differently than furnaces. Instead of heating the air inside the unit, a boiler heats water inside a combustion chamber. A hydronic system pumps the hot water through a network of pipes that run through ceilings, floors, and walls in the building.


Some boiler systems blow hot steam from the water through the pipes instead. The result is often the same. The pipes warm up the walls, which, in turn, keep the rooms nice and toasty. Boilers are also energy-efficient. The advantage they have over furnaces is that do not circulate air throughout all the rooms. Thus, there is no dirty air coming from the system.


Installing Furnaces and Boilers

How easy it is to implement a boiler or a furnace largely depends on the floorplan and age of your building. If you are unsure which is best for you, then contact Steve’s Plumbing & Heating. We can assess your property and recommend the best unit for your house. Our goal is to provide you with quality equipment that is the most cost-effective. Call us today and schedule an inspection. Our number is 715-421-1800. We service all residential and commercial properties in Central Wisconsin.