Fight the MA Clean Heat Standard Today! - LEARN HOW

Boiler vs. Furnace: What’s the Difference?

Frank Lamparelli can install and service your equipment

propane furnace versus boiler south shore

Often, when people are talking about their home’s heating system, they use the word “furnace.”

They may have a furnace. But they could actually have a boiler.

While both furnaces and boilers heat your South Shore homes, they’re not exactly the same thing.

The big difference comes in how they heat your home. And those differences affect things like maintenance and repairs. But don’t worry, the trained and experienced service technicians at Frank Lamparelli can expertly take care of both kinds of heating systems.

We’ll walk you through the basics of furnaces and boilers to get you up to speed:


A furnace is also known as a forced-air heating system. Air is drawn into the furnace, where it is then heated. A blower then forces it through ducts, where it is released through vents or registers throughout your home.


Boilers are a hydronic heating system, meaning they use hot water to heat your home. Water circulates around your boiler’s combustion chamber, where it is heated. The circulator pumps the heated water through pipes to baseboards and radiators around your home to provide the heat. Steam systems turn the water into steam, which rises through pipes to radiators.

Choosing a heating system for your home

If you are building a new home, you get to choose what kind of heating system you want. If you are renovating your current home, changing your type of heating system may be an option, although it will likely be an expensive one.

There are pros and cons for both systems, and this is an individual choice you make based on you and your family’s needs and concerns, and your budget. The pros at Frank Lamparelli can help you with that decision. Here are some things to consider in regards to pros vs cons:

  • Furnaces tend to be more common than boilers; they are less expensive, sometimes even by half as much as the price of a boiler for installation
  • Ductwork for furnaces can spread dust and dander, which can potentially create problems for people with allergies or respiratory conditions.
  • In line with the above point, with a furnace, you must change the air filter regularly to keep your system running efficiently and prevent the buildup of dust and dander in the system.
  • If you already have the ductwork for a furnace, a central air system should be easier to install.
  • The heat from a boiler is more comfortable than the heated air from a furnace, which can be dry without a whole-house humidification system.
  • Boilers tend to be quieter when in operation compared to a traditional furnace system.
  • Boilers take longer to adjust to thermostat changes. That means it takes longer for you to feel a temperature change after turning the heat up or down.

Whether you have a furnace or a boiler, Frank Lamparelli’s service technicians can install, maintain and repair it. Contact us to learn more, today.