Getting heat to your home is a top priority, especially if you live in an area with extreme winters. Choosing the right heating system can be complicated if you aren’t sure where to start, and you may not even know what type of system you currently have. If you want to know more about in-home heating, keep reading for key differences between boilers and furnaces.

Do I Have a Boiler or Furnace?

If you aren’t sure whether your home heating system uses a boiler or furnace, there’s a simple way to tell. If the rooms in your home have radiators or baseboard heating, you have a boiler. On the other hand, you’re using a furnace if you have vents throughout the house instead of radiators. Here’s what you need to know about each of them.

How Does a Boiler Work?

Boilers come in two main varieties: steam and hydronic.
Steam boilers work by converting water to steam and then pumping it through pipes to the radiators. On the other hand, a hydronic boiler needs to burn a fuel source to heat water that is then pumped to the radiators or baseboards. The water cycles through the pipes back to the boiler unit to be heated and pumped through again.

Keeping The Boiler Working

To keep your boiler in good working order, make sure to check baseboards and radiators regularly. If you have a steam boiler, inspect the water gauge often. If the water gets too low, your boiler could shut down or get damaged. Additionally, if the water inside the gauge looks rusty or dirty, you’ll need to flush out the boiler. This is usually best done by a professional.
How Does a Furnace Work?
While a boiler uses hot water to heat a home, a furnace uses hot air. To heat the air in the system, the furnace must burn fuel, most commonly heating oil. When the air is heated, blowers move that air through the ducts and vents into the open rooms. Return ducts take the air back to the furnace to be heated again as needed, according to your thermostat.

Keeping The Furnace Working

Because furnaces use air to heat your home, you should keep the air filter clean. Tiny dust particles, pet dander, and other allergens get caught in the filter as air circulates. Changing the filter regularly will ensure that your air stays as clean as possible. Check it once a month during times when you use the system and change it as needed.

If you need assistance with your home heating system, get in touch with Arlex Oil! As heating oil experts, they’ll be able to give you the best professional guidance to make your home warm and cozy this winter.