Boiler vs Forced-Air Furnace
Published On: 8 February 2021Categories: Latest News

The two most common ways to heat a building are a forced-air furnace or a boiler. Each system has its pros and cons. Which is right for your space? Which offers the greatest efficiency, energy savings and comfort? Read on to find out whether boiler vs forced-air furnace is best for your heating needs.

Furnace: Cool air is drawn to a furnace, filtered, heated, transferred by a heat exchanger then distributed through a series of ducts with the help of a blower. A furnace uses gas, oil or electricity to create heat.


  • Economical: A furnace costs approximately ½ the price of a boiler.
  • Easy to install: Installation takes only a few hours.
  • Long-lasting: A furnace lasts about 15-20 years.
  • Energy-efficient: New models of furnaces boast over 95% energy efficiency.
  • Air conditioning possible: You can add an air conditioner to a forced-air heating system.


    • Noisy: You hear a furnace each time it turns on!
    • Poor air quality: A furnace blows dust and allergens about and causes your home to have dry air.
    • Uneven heat: Depending on the location of the ducts, there may be cold spots within your home and within each room.
  • Requires frequent maintenance: A furnace needs a yearly maintenance check and filters need to be changed every 2 or 3 months. The duct system also requires regular cleaning. Many mechanical parts constantly moving makes a furnace susceptible to breakage.
  • Heating zones are difficult to establish and require complex ductwork.

Boiler: A boiler uses gas, propane or oil to heat a fluid (water or glycol). A circulating pump then moves the liquid through a system of pipes to radiators or in-floor heating loops.


  • Even heat: Your home and each room within it are heated evenly. No cold spots!
  • No noise: Boilers operate with little or no noise.
  • Good air quality: Humidity remains normal and dust and allergens are not a concern.
  • Ease of maintenance: There are fewer parts to worry about with boilers. When working properly, there is virtually no maintenance required.
  • Energy-efficient: New models of boilers boast over 95% energy efficiency.
  • Long-lasting:  A boiler lasts about 15-20 years.
  • Heating zones possible: Zoning allows you to have more control over the temperature of various rooms in your home and can make your heating system more efficient. Turn up the heat where you need it, when you need it!
  • Radiant floor heating possible: Underfloor tubing can be laid under most finished floor materials and connected to your boiler to deliver heat to your floors.
  • A touch of luxury: Use the heat from your boiler to dry and warm clothing and towels. Through the use of tubing, circulate heat to melt snow or ice at the entrances to your home, reducing shovelling and making it safer to walk.


  • Installation expenses for a boiler are 2 to 3 times more than that of a furnace.
  • Slow to react: When you adjust the thermostat on a boiler it takes a while to feel a temperature change.
  • Requires separate air conditioning: A boiler cannot be hooked to a central air conditioning unit.
  • Leaks: A boiler can leak and pose a major hazard to your home. Water damage can cost thousands of dollars in repairs.

Both a furnace and a boiler help keep your space toasty and warm. When it comes to boiler vs forced-air furnace, which one makes more sense for you depends on your location, needs and budget. Consult an HVAC expert for advice regarding which heating system will work best for you.

Need a new furnace? Thinking of a boiler for your home/building? Having trouble with your boiler or furnace? Call Calgary-based Plumbing Paramedics. Our prompt service, quality workmanship and trained technicians have the skill and knowledge to diagnose and repair all types of boilers and furnaces and provide reliable installation services.

Call us at (403) 452-2911 or Book Now an appointment.

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