Finding Duct Leaks

3 Reasons to Consider a Boiler Over a Furnace

There are enough things to keep in mind when constructing a new home that the design of your HVAC system may fall by the side. This system may seem like a relatively dull aspect of your home to worry about, but your choices will have significant impacts on both your enjoyment of your new house and your long-term energy costs. If you live in an area with cold winters, then one of the bigger decisions that you will need to make is between forced air and baseboard heating. While forced air is typical in many newer homes, using a boiler to power a baseboard heating system has several advantages that are worth close consideration.

Boilers Are Physics Approved

The primary difference between a furnace and a boiler is the medium that they heat. A furnace heats air directly, while a boiler heats water that is then used to heat the air in your house. At first blush, this may seem like an advantage for the furnace. After all, isn't your goal to heat the air in your home? While it may make a certain amount of intuitive sense, the reality is that it is significantly more energy-efficient to heat water than to heat air. Modern furnaces can also be highly efficient, but boilers remain a great choice if you are concerned about your energy usage.

Furnaces Don't Always Provide Even Heating

Forced air heating systems distribute warm air from the furnace to each room using a system of ducts. If your home has a central air conditioning system, then the same ductwork will be used for both heating and cooling. Your home's ducts can bleed a significant amount of heat, drastically reducing the overall efficiency of your system. You can overcome some of this loss with proper insulation and other precautions, but it is impossible to prevent entirely. The practical effect of this loss is an increase in your energy bills and rooms that may be heated unevenly.

Baseboard Heaters Provide a More Comfortable Environment

Forced air heating tends to create dry, uncomfortable air. While this drying effect will not occur in all types of installations, it is unavoidable when the furnace is using conditioned indoor air for combustion. Since the furnace is exchanging moist, indoor air for cooler, dryer outdoor air, your home's overall humidity levels will fall. Forced air systems can also distribute allergens and contaminants throughout your home during the winter, although this can be countered with regular filter changes and duct cleanings. Baseboard heaters avoid this entirely since air is not circulated as part of the heating process.

Remember that not all HVAC systems will be right for all homes. When installing a system in a new home or an existing home, always consult with an HVAC professional to determine the best options for your house and budget.