top of page


Heating your home is going to become more important over the next couple of months. As you probably know, the Alberta winter can be treacherous, so learning about the different heating options and what they entail should be a major priority.

Today, we're going to tell you the main difference between types of furnaces and types of boilers. Keep reading and you'll have all of the facts should you ever need to repair or replace your residential heating system.

What Is a Furnace?

In short, a furnace runs on gas or electricity and heats the air in your home. Older furnaces would have run on wood or coal, but today's furnaces are much more efficient, using as much as 98% of the energy that they consume.

They work by converting gas or electrical energy into heat. The furnace then pushes the warm air through your ducts and vents into your home.

If you're purchasing a new furnace, it's important to know that there are many different types. Which you choose will depend on how large your home is and what your heating needs are.

What Is a Boiler?

Unlike a furnace, boilers use heated water to warm your home. The boiler holds the water and, when it's sufficiently heated, distributes it throughout your home using pipes. If you've got radiators or baseboard heaters in your rooms, then you've got a boiler.

As with furnaces, there are two types of boilers: gas and electric. Electric boilers use heating elements to heat the water, while gas boilers use gas and a flame (similar to a gas water heater). Once the hot water is distributed through the pipes, the heat radiates from the heaters to warm the home.

Which Is Better for Heating Your Home?

When deciding between a furnace or a boiler for your home, there are a few key factors to note.

In terms of cost, furnaces are both cheaper to install and cheaper to operate, especially newer ones that are more energy-efficient. When it comes to indoor air quality, however, furnaces force air through ducts and disturb allergens. Because boilers use radiation, they're quiet and maintain good indoor air quality.

Another thing to consider with boilers is leaking. If you have a burst pipe or your water tank freezes and bursts, you could have a serious mess and expensive damages to deal with. Furnaces don't pose as many dangers - unless you have a gas leak.

Problems with Your Boiler or Furnace?

Now that you know the differences, as well as the pros and cons of boilers and furnaces, you can decide which is best for you. Whether you've got a furnace or a boiler, you need to make sure it's in good working order before winter really sets in.

At Problem Solved Plumbing & Heating, we're Calgary and Cochrane's best emergency plumber and HVAC specialist. If you're having issues with your furnace or boiler - or you need to replace one or the other - don't hesitate to contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


bottom of page