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Is a Boiler Better Than a Furnace: Which is Right for Your Home?

Cassie Pound, owner of Quality Heating, Cooling, Plumbing & Electric
Published by
Cassie Pound
November 23, 2021

Wondering whether you should install a boiler or furnace for heating your home? There are pros and cons to each, and the two systems couldn’t be more different. Our team at Quality Heating, Cooling & Plumbing can help you learn which heating system works best for your home.

Is a Boiler Better Than a Furnace: Which Is Right for Your Home?

Choosing a heating system for your home can be a tough decision. You’ll want to compare the options, keeping in mind your family’s needs, home layout, and budget. If you’re asking yourself, “Is a boiler better than a furnace?” then you’re in the right place.

What Is a Boiler?

Boilers heat the home by warming water or another liquid to create steam. The steam travels through a system of pipes that emit heat through radiators or baseboards in each room. Radiators get installed in the home in a way that produces the most efficient heat distribution. A boiler requires a large room for storing the main component.

What Is a Furnace? 

A furnace uses air to generate heat and a blower motor to move the warmed air through the installed HVAC ductwork and vents. You can choose a furnace that runs on gas, electricity, or oil. There are three kinds of furnaces to choose from: downflow, upflow, and horizontal. These options differ based on how vents get installed around the house.

Boilers vs. Furnaces

When deciding between a boiler or furnace for your home, there are several things you’ll want to consider.

Energy Efficiency

These days, most homeowners consider energy efficiency to be one of the more important features of an HVAC system. Generally, boilers produce heat using less fuel and are considered more energy efficient. Homeowners typically pay less in energy costs, assuming the system is maintained and properly cared for.


Boiler units require less maintenance than furnaces and typically require only annual service tune-ups.  On the other hand, a furnace will need new filters monthly in addition to an annual furnace repair and maintenance inspection. If you live in a dry, dusty area or have a few pets, you may need to change the filter more often.


Because furnaces use blowers to distribute hot air, furnaces tend to be noisier than boilers. They will make noises each time they turn on, which can be a dealbreaker for some homeowners. Loud banging noises are also one of the signs you have a broken furnace, but those noises will differ from the unit’s everyday sounds. Boilers, by comparison, are much quieter.

Upfront Cost

Furnaces tend to be the more cost-effective options because they are most popular and more units are on the market. A furnace will cost from $700 to $2,000 before installation. Furnaces take less time to install than boilers, though, which may also cut the costs for homeowners. Boilers cost about $3,500 to $10,000 and tend to require more time to install. Installation can cost $2,000 to $8,000 for either type of system, depending on the size of the house.

Air Quality

Air quality tends to be better in homes that use boilers. This is because a furnace uses a motor to push heat through the system, and the airflow tends to push dust, dirt, and other allergens along with it.


Having a flexible heating system can be a great selling point. Unfortunately, boilers don’t offer much flexibility because converting them to a furnace system can be expensive and complex. Additionally, boiler systems can only heat your home, but the ducts used for a furnace can also support a central air conditioning system. Furnaces are extremely flexible because they can function using oil, propane, natural gas, or electricity.

Risk of Freezing

In areas that experience freezing temperatures, a furnace might be your best option. Since the furnace uses warm air to heat the home instead of water like a boiler, there is no risk of frozen or burst pipes like there is with boilers. Additionally, when you have a furnace, there’s no chance of water damage from a leak.

Heat Consistency

Furnaces tend to provide less heat consistency than boilers because they use warm air to produce heat. Homeowners who have furnace heating systems are more likely to notice cold spots in their homes. Since a boiler heats rooms with hot water or steam, it’s able to provide more heat consistency.


When choosing between a boiler and a furnace, you might find that the system’s lifespan may be a deciding factor. Even though a furnace is cheaper, its life expectancy is 15 to 20 years. If you spend a bit more on a boiler, you can have a working heating system for up to 30 years.
Ultimately, whether you choose a furnace or a boiler will largely depend on the size of your home and the extent of your heating requirements. If you still aren’t sure which type of system is right for your home, get professional advice from a trusted HVAC contractor.

Find Reliable HVAC Services in Broken Arrow, OK

Quality Heating, Cooling & Plumbing is a family-owned business offering outstanding heating repair services in Broken Arrow, OK. Our team of highly knowledgeable HVAC technicians is trained to perform a variety of services including installation and repairs. We also provide comprehensive preventative maintenance programs on boilers and furnaces that help extend your system’s lifespan, maximize performance, and eliminate the need for extra services.
At Quality Heating, Cooling & Plumbing, we understand how difficult it can be to stretch your budget for unexpected expenses. That’s why we offer financing options that allow you to have your heating system installed or repaired with no upfront costs. We have several flexible financing terms and rates as low as 5.99% APR.
Are you ready to take the next steps toward getting a new HVAC system? At Quality Heating, Cooling & Plumbing, our certified technicians can answer any questions you may have regarding which heating system is right for your home. Stop debating between a boiler and a furnace. Call us now at 918-517-8295 and schedule your consultation appointment.

Cassie Pound, owner of Quality Heating, Cooling, Plumbing & Electric
Published by
Cassie Pound

Cassie Pound is the Vice President of Quality Heating, Cooling, Plumbing & Electric with locations in Tulsa, Glenpool, and Bartlesville, Oklahoma.