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Boiler Vs Furnace – What’s the Difference?

Most homeowners know that a boiler is a critical element in a central heating system, and as the name suggests, it boils the water that is pumped through the pipes and radiators throughout the home. For many years, the traditional “wet” central heating system was the only option with regards to a heating system that was spread throughout the house, and whether fuelled by gas or oil, sending hot water around the home is a very efficient way of heating the interior of a building, then along came “dry” central heating, which uses hot air, rather than water, and this system uses what we call a furnace.

The Water Based Central Heating System

Most UK homes use a wet heating system that consists of the following components:

  • Boiler
  • Water tank
  • Thermostat
  • Water pump

The system is connected by means of copper piping, and with radiators in every room, the complex piping is a looped closed circuit that continually pumps the water around the home, with the boiler reheating the water as it returns back from its tour of the house. Air is taken out of the system to aid fast flow, and the thermostat controls the firing of the boiler and the water pump, creating a reliable system of reheating water and sending it back through the home. If you run wet central heating and the system develops a fault, there is an affordable boiler repair and boiler service in Oldham‌‌ by gas engineer specialist JB Heating Services who is qualified to service gas boilers and heating systems.

The Hot Air Heating System

The hot air system consists of the following:

  • Furnace – To heat the air
  • Heat exchanger – This takes cool air from the exterior and turns it into warm air
  • Ducting – Channelled through the wall, the ducting leads to every room
  • Thermostat – Controls the firing of the furnace

The principle is the same, with the exception that it is hot air being circulated, not water.

Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC)

HVAC systems offer the home owner air conditioning for the summer, which is possible by reversing the heat exchange to send cool air into the home, rather than hot. The HVAC system can heat a house much quicker, as the wet system takes time to boil the water, and with the added benefits, it is a more complete climate control system. HVAC systems are used in industry, and have many commercial applications, heating large buildings, while also providing A/C in the summer, and many UK homeowners prefer to use HVAC than traditional wet heating systems.

If you are planning a new build, there are pluses and minuses for both of the above heating systems, and it very much depends on your personal preference. HVAC offers a lot more and is more economical to run that the traditional water based central heating system.

Talk to your local heating engineer, who can help you make an informed decision, and whatever you choose, he can install the system and service it on a regular basis.

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