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Quick Tip: Difference Between Boiler and Furnace


Posted in: Heating | Plumbing by

It’s that time of year when I begin to receive a lot heating repair calls. A customer may describe that his furnace is making weird noises. Another may tell me that her boiler isn’t working. In both cases, there’s no heat in the Willimantic CT home and I need to get a technician out ASAP. My job is to find out if the heating repair is for a BOILER or a FURNACE first. Here’s a helpful tip for you, if you need to call for service on your heating system.

Boiler vs. Furnace

Both pieces of equipment are usually found in the basement of your Willimantic CT home. Both can be powered by oil or natural gas. They are both expected to last about 30 years IF you keep up the maintenance on them.

HOW they create heat is how you can determine if you have a ‘boiler’ or ‘furnace’ heating system.

boiler-vs-furnace-willimantic-ct-emergency-heat-repairs-plumber-heatingA boiler boils water to create heat. This heated water circulates throughout your home via your baseboard units or radiators. A boiler can also create steam which, again, is circulated through a system of radiators. Other sources a water or steam boiler directs heat through are radiant floors or radiant ceilings.

Fun fact: once a boiler is filled with water, that SAME water is heated and circulated throughout your home for the life of the equipment. Its water is completely separate from your drinking water.

A furnace heats air to create heat. After the air is warmed, it’s “forced” through your home through a series of duct work and vents. If you have “central heat,” that means you have a furnace heating system. That same duct work is used in the winter for your central air conditioning.

Your local Willimantic CT boiler specialist

Rapid Service LLC provides boiler repair and installation. We can repair all of the heating repairs on your boiler such as the relief valve, backflow preventer, and tempering valve.* If you see that any of these are leaking, it’s a sign that you need to schedule heating service ASAP. Leaking indicates that the boiler is having trouble regulating that delicate balance of water and air. Check out our YouTube video to see some of our boiler work. If your home isn’t getting warm enough, you hear ‘knocking’ in your radiator, or wake up without heat, call 860-228-1036.

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(*) Please note: We do not offer burner or boiler cleaning services; please contact your preferred oil or gas company.