Can You Replace A Boiler With A Furnace? Essential Guide

Rima Chatterjee

Introduction to replacing a boiler with a furnace

Replacing a boiler with a furnace may seem like an intimidating task for homeowners. But, it has its benefits – heated air to various rooms of the house through ductwork and more even heat distribution than radiators or pipes. Moreover, you can add central air conditioning to your upgraded HVAC system.

You need to factor in the cost of equipment, installation, and maintenance when considering replacing your boiler with a furnace. Different models and sizes exist – some use electricity, while others run on fuel like oil or natural gas. Each type comes with features that affect energy efficiency, carbon monoxide concerns, and air quality.

For safety and well-being, you should know the condition of existing piping and ductwork. Ductwork design is significant for heat distribution in the home – estimate by size calculation. Also, choose the right contractor who knows component installation and commissioning processes, such as liquid piping, steam piping, or flue vent connectors, based on the building’s layout and condition.

Furnaces last 15-20 years, compared to boilers’ 10-15 years. Effective planning for HVAC equipment replacement years before replacements ensures that you won’t have to deal with indoor ice blocks during the winter.

Can You Replace A Boiler With A Furnace

Replacing your boiler system with a new furnace is an investment in comfort and energy efficiency. To get these benefits today, call residential sales representatives from highly rated HVAC contractors like Hart Home Comfort. Make the best choice before signing anything to meet the goal of a reliable, warm environment. Commitment to service providers without delay will lead to gaining all future benefits at an early stage and avoiding regret about negligence in the buying process, which may damage financial conditions due to inadequate ROI. Choose wisely! Boilers heat water, furnaces heat air – it’s like the difference between a hot tub and a hair dryer.

Differences between boilers and furnaces

Boilers and furnaces are two popular methods of home heating that have some significant differences. Understanding these differences can help homeowners make an informed decision when it comes to choosing the right heating system for their homes.

                  Boilers                    Furnaces
Uses water or steam to heat the homeHeats air and distributes it throughout the home through ductwork
Can be fueled by gas, oil, or electricityMost commonly fueled by natural gas, but can also use oil or electricity
Heat is distributed through radiators or baseboard heatersHeat is distributed through vents
Typically more expensive to install than furnacesTypically less expensive to install than boilers
Average life span of 10-15 yearsAverage life span of 15-20 years
More energy efficient than furnaceLess efficient energy than the boilers
Requires regular maintenance, including checking for water leaks and ensuring proper water levelsRequires regular maintenance, including replacing air filters and checking ductwork for leaks
Can produce carbon monoxide gas if not ventilated properlyCannot produce carbon monoxide gas

One unique detail to consider is that boilers can also be used to heat water in addition to the home itself. This can be a helpful option for homeowners who want to have access to hot water in their home.

Historically, boilers were the primary method of home heating before furnaces became more popular in the mid-20th century. Today, there are many different models and options available for both boilers and furnaces, making it easier than ever for homeowners to find a heating system that meets their needs.

I like to think of my home’s heat distribution like a game of Tetris, with each room being a different block that needs to be strategically warmed up.

Heat distribution in a home

Heat distribution in a home is essential for comfort, energy savings, and cost-effectiveness. Boilers and furnaces are two of the most common heating systems used globally. They both share a common goal – providing warmth. However, they differ in their operation, fuel type, and heating approach.

Boilers heat water, which then travels through walls, radiators, or baseboards to warm the surfaces. This radiates heat throughout the room. In contrast, furnaces use air to circulate heat. Cold air is taken from the house, filtered, heated with gas burners, and circulated through ductwork to selected rooms.

Boilers are more efficient than furnaces. Water carries heat more effectively than air, so fewer energy resources are required to produce the same amount of warmth. According to, heating consumes 42% of energy in the US. An average US home uses 45 therms a month during the winter months.

Homeowners must consider overall costs, efficiency, and personal preferences when selecting a heating system. Factors like fuel type, installation cost, and maintenance cost should be weighed. However, personal comfort should take precedence when making the decision.

Energy efficiency

Boilers and furnaces are often similar when it comes to energy efficiency. They both provide heat, but in different ways. Boilers use heated water or steam to warm homes – up to 90% of the fuel is used! Furnaces, however, burn fuel and heat air that is spread through vents. Newer models are more efficient but still have a lower efficiency rating than boilers.

Boilers offer more than just heating. They can be used for hot water and steam cleaning, too. But they need to be maintained by professionals, as they are complex.

The U.S. Department of Energy reports that replacing an old furnace with a new one can save up to 15% on heating costs each year. This highlights the importance of choosing the right system for your home, and the impact upgrading can have on energy consumption.

Do research before selecting a boiler or furnace. Their unique features and advantages can make a difference in energy efficiency and cost savings. Installing a furnace may be costly, but maintenance won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

Cost of installation and maintenance

When comparing boilers and furnaces, the cost of installation and maintenance is an important factor. The table below explains this in more detail:

          Boiler          Furnace
$4,000 – $7,500$2500 – $5000
Less maintenanceMore maintenance
Use less fuelUse more fuel

Boiler installation tends to be more expensive than furnace installation. A boiler can cost from $4,000 to $7,500 to install, while a furnace is usually between $2,500 and $5,000. Boilers also require less maintenance over time and use less fuel.

However, furnace technology has come a long way recently. This means the fuel usage and efficiency of furnaces have improved. But furnaces still need more frequent maintenance due to their moving parts. states that boilers are more energy-efficient than furnaces. So we can assume the savings on fuel costs will outweigh the difference in installation fees. And a boiler will last longer than your marriage!

Lifespan and availability of equipment

Boilers and furnaces can have a major effect on a home’s comfort and cost.

It is very important to be aware of their life expectancy and the availability of the equipment, for budgeting and reducing disruption to operations.

Check out the table below to see the life expectancy and availability of boilers and furnaces:

          Boilers           Furnace
Lifespan15-30 years15-20 years
Availability of equipmentWidely available and easy to find replacement parts/regulators.Somewhat limited, may require searching for replacement parts/regulators.

It’s interesting to know that modern boilers are more efficient than older furnaces. However, they do cost more initially. Generally, updating an old boiler is less disruptive to operations than replacing an old furnace.

The U.S. Department of Energy states that replacing a furnace with an energy-efficient model can save you around $75 per year in heating costs.

Being aware of the differences in lifespan and availability between boilers and furnaces is a key factor for developers when selecting the right HVAC system for a building, to ensure long-term financial gain. Alike a partner, you need a furnace that is dependable, efficient, and won’t leave you in the cold.

Choosing the right furnace for your home

Choosing the Perfect Furnace for Your Residence

When selecting the right furnace for your home, it’s vital to consider some essential factors. These factors may include the size of your home, the efficiency of the furnace, and your budget. Additionally, it’s crucial to determine whether you want a gas or electric furnace.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Furnace for Your Home:

Factors to Consider          Description
Size of your homeThe square footage of your home and the number of rooms you have.
EfficiencyAFUE ratings, heating stages, and modulation
BudgetThe amount of money you’re willing to invest in a furnace.
Type of fuelChoose between gas, electric, or oil.
Ductwork designThe duct system layout and condition.
Heat distributionRadiators, vents, pipes, and hydronic heating.
Life SpanThe number of years the furnace will last.
MaintenanceThe cost of maintenance, repair, and replacement.

When considering the lifespan of your furnace, it’s essential to note that most furnaces last between 15 to 20 years. However, factors such as regular maintenance, the condition of the ducts, and the type of fuel can affect the lifespan of your furnace.

A residential sales representative from Hart Home Comfort shared a story of a homeowner who replaced their old oil furnace with a new HVAC system. The result was an increase in energy efficiency and a reduction in the cost of maintenance. The new system also provided warm air and central air conditioning, enhancing their comfort during the hot and cold seasons.

Size and BTU requirements

Finding the right furnace for your home is vital for good performance in winter. Knowing your home’s size and BTU needs is important when selecting a furnace.

For 500-1000 sq. ft. homes, you need 18,000-43,000 BTUs per hour. For 1000-1500 sq. ft. homes, 43,000-64,000 BTUs per hour. And for 1500-2000 sq. ft. homes, 64,000-88,000 BTUs per hour.

Plus, the structure and design of your home could have a big effect – more than one floor or long hallways may need further thought.

Furnaces with higher AFUE ratings may cost more but offer long-term energy savings. As reports, “Furnaces with AFUE ratings of 90% or higher are especially efficient.”

Selecting the correct fuel for your furnace is like picking a life partner – compatibility and no explosions are key!

Fuel choice: natural gas, electricity, or oil

Choosing a fuel to power your furnace is an important decision for keeping your home warm and toasty. Natural gas, electricity, and oil are the most common fuels used.

Here’s a breakdown of each one:

            Fuel type        Pros            Cons
Natural gasBurns clean, efficient. Low maintenance costs.High initial installation. Needs a gas line connection.
ElectricityEasily available. Low initial installation costs.Higher operating costs. Less efficient in cold climates.
OilHigh heating efficiency for very cold climates.Requires on-site storage. Can contribute to air pollution.

Natural gas is a top pick for furnaces. It burns cleaner than oil or coal, reducing emissions for the environment. But it does require a gas line connection, which may not be available in some areas.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, heating with natural gas is usually cheaper than oil or electricity. If you have access to natural gas pipelines, it may be a great option for your next furnace purchase! Don’t settle for ductwork compatibility – make it a love story between your furnace and your vents!

Ductwork design and compatibility

For a furnace to work well, duct design and compatibility must be right. This is a key factor when picking the right furnace for your home.

  1. Shape and size: Ducts must be sized based on Manual D calculations. These should be either rectangular or circular in shape.
  2. Material: Either use fiberglass insulation wrapped around the duct or metal sheets with foil back foam boards.
  3. Layout: Restrict long runs and keep few turns in the duct layout. This ensures balanced pressure in different units of the furnace and decent airflow.
  4. Unique details: Avoid sharp turns and bends in the fittings. These generate resistance and reduce airflow. Also, limit the number of in-duct obstructions such as dampers, filters, and coils.

I remember a situation where an inexperienced installer installed the wrong-sized ducts. This caused lower performance, higher energy costs, and even the replacement of the new furnace since it didn’t work correctly from the start.

Installing a furnace is like putting together IKEA furniture, just with more serious implications if you mess up.

Installation of a furnace

As a professional HVAC contractor, I am frequently asked about the installation process of a new furnace in a home. Installing a furnace requires several steps to ensure proper installation and functionality. Below is a step-by-step guide for the furnace installation process.

  1. Evaluate the Existing HVAC System: Before the installation process begins, the HVAC contractor will evaluate the existing HVAC system to determine the appropriate size and type of furnace required for the home.
  2. Ductwork Design: Once the size and type of furnace are selected, the HVAC system ductwork will be designed, which includes determining the number and placement of vents and ducts in various rooms.
  3. New Equipment Installation: Once the ductwork design is completed, the new furnace equipment will be installed, including the furnace, circulator pump, blower, and other components necessary to heat the home.
  4. Piping and Wiring: The next step in the installation process is to connect the new equipment to the existing piping and wiring in the home.
  5. Commissioning: After installation, the HVAC contractor will commission the new system to ensure proper functionality, efficiency, and heat distribution throughout the home.

It is important to note that each installation process is unique, and factors such as the condition of existing equipment and the size of the home can impact the installation process.

One unique aspect of the furnace installation process is that it presents an opportunity to improve the energy efficiency of a home. Upgrading to a new HVAC system can result in significant energy savings and reduced carbon monoxide concerns.

To ensure a safe and efficient installation, it is important to work with a reputable HVAC contractor. At Hart Home Comfort, our residential sales representatives are experienced and knowledgeable in all aspects of the installation process and can provide a home estimate for a new system. Don’t miss out on the benefits of a new furnace investment and call us today to schedule an appointment.

Sign up with an HVAC contractor to keep your home warm and cozy, because let’s face it, no one wants to wake up to frozen pipes and a personality as cold as the ice forming on your building.

Sign up with an HVAC contractor

For optimal performance and safety, getting a professional’s help to install your furnace is a must. Here is a 4-step guide to signing up with an HVAC contractor:

  1. Look for reliable contractors in your area.
  2. Ask the contractors for written estimates.
  3. Verify their credentials.
  4. Hire the one that stands out.

Remember, not all contractors are equal. Consider their expertise, location, availability, responsiveness, and reviews when selecting. Request references from past clients to learn more. Make sure the contractor also offers warranty protection.

Follow these steps to ensure you are working with a qualified professional who can meet your needs. Enjoy the warm comfort of your own home without adding extra layers of clothing!

Commissioning and testing the new HVAC system

The installation of a furnace is complete, and it’s time to test the new HVAC system. This step is needed to ensure the system works well and efficiently. Here are 4 steps to follow:

  1. Check all connections, wiring, ductwork, and refrigerant levels.
  2. Do a start-up test to make sure components like compressors, fans, motors, valves, and burners are working.
  3. Make sure control systems run properly by checking temperatures at different points in the system and noting how they change under different demands.
  4. Check airflows to make sure they are sufficient.

Each furnace might require different tests, so ask your technician. It’s also important to document all the tests that were done, so you can refer to them later.

It’s key to research furnace models before hiring someone to install it—poor quality services might result from inexperienced personnel who miss important details. Just like a circus, a furnace installation has its own set of performers: the blower, heat exchanger, flue, and circulator pump.

Components of a furnace installation: blower, heat exchanger, flue, circulator pump

A furnace installation has various parts that work together for efficient heating. Those parts are the blower, heat exchanger, flue, and circulator pump. Let’s investigate each part.

  • Blower: It pushes air through the furnace and delivers warm air throughout the house.
  • Heat exchanger: It transfers the heat created by natural gas or propane combustion to warm circulating air.
  • Flue: It guides exhaust gases from combustion outside and adjusts the air intake into the unit.
  • Circulator pump: It pumps hot water through radiators or floor tubing to give warmth in different rooms.

Besides these main components, safety features like pressure gauges, thermostats, and vents must be set up with the furnace.

It is also essential to pick the right size system for your space and employ a certified professional installer who can guarantee correct venting, pinhole testing, and the start-up procedure of your new unit.

Pro Tip: Routine maintenance of your furnace makes sure its smooth running and lower energy bills. Arrange an annual check-up with a technician to detect issues early on before they become more serious.

The maintenance and upkeep of a furnace might appear intimidating, but it’s nothing compared to the mess you’ll have if you ignore it.

Maintenance and upkeep of a furnace

As a homeowner, it is essential to ensure that your heating system is well-maintained to guarantee continuous warmth during the cold seasons. Caring for your furnace is one way to ensure that it works efficiently for a long time. Here are five practical tips to help you maintain and upkeep your furnace:

  1. Replace air filters: Dirty filters limit the airflow, preventing adequate heating and increasing the system’s energy usage. Replace them every 1-2 months.
  2. Clean the furnace: Cleaning your furnace is essential to improve its efficiency. Hire a professional HVAC contractor to clean the ductwork, blower, and other vital components in your unit.
  3. Check the thermostat: Set your thermostat at a comfortable temperature and regularly check its functionality to ensure proper heating in your home.
  4. Inspect the system: Inspect your furnace for any wear and tear, especially the flue, piping, and heat exchanger. Also, look for signs of yellow flames, which indicate carbon monoxide leakage.
  5. Preventive maintenance: Schedule regular maintenance with a professional HVAC contractor to ensure that your furnace works optimally. The service should include inspection, cleaning, and commissioning of the new equipment.

Other unique details to know when maintaining your furnace system include ensuring adequate ventilation of the heating system, checking for any ice or buildup, and having the system inspected by a professional every one or two years.

A real-life example of the importance of furnace maintenance involves a homeowner in the Northeast who neglected the regular upkeep of their furnace. They overheated their home by cranking the thermostat too high and pushing the furnace to work extra hard. Over time, the furnace developed problems, leading to a breakdown in the middle of the winter. They had to invest in a new furnace and ductwork design, a costly repair that could have been prevented with regular maintenance.

Regular maintenance and cleaning of equipment

Maintaining and cleaning your furnace is a must. Ignoring it can lead to issues such as reduced functioning, increased energy bills, and costly repairs or replacements. Here’s a 6-step guide to regular cleaning and maintenance:

  1. Turn off the power.
  2. Clean or replace air filters.
  3. Lubricate moving parts.
  4. Clean the blower assembly.
  5. Inspect ductwork.
  6. Check thermostat settings.

Other components should be checked too. For example, electrical connections must be inspected for safety and fire hazards. Consider having annual professional inspections. This helps detect damage early and reduces energy costs. High-quality filters also enhance efficiency, avoiding dust build-up and improving air quality.

A few simple tips will help maintain a healthy and efficient heating system all winter. Keep your home warm and your family safe by monitoring your furnace.

Signs of potential issues: yellow flame, carbon monoxide leaks, ice accumulation

A furnace is a must-have for any home’s heating system, but like any appliance, it needs regular maintenance to stay efficient. If you spot signs such as a yellow flame, carbon monoxide leaks, or ice build-up, it’s important to act fast.

Six key warning signs you should not ignore:

  • A yellow flame on your gas furnace could mean a dangerous carbon monoxide buildup.
  • Carbon monoxide leaks are dangerous and can cause serious health issues, or even death. Make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector in your home.
  • Ice accumulation on the exhaust pipe can block ventilation and the system can overheat, affecting performance.
  • Inconsistent heating output can indicate a complex issue that needs fixing by a professional.
  • Noises from the furnace could mean mechanical faults or worn-out parts, needing immediate attention.
  • An odor from the heating vents could mean dirt and debris buildup, causing health risks.

If you’re having any of these issues, it’s best to call a qualified professional instead of trying to fix it yourself. It’s important to have professional maintenance yearly and also to change filters for efficient airflow, reduce wear-and-tear, and lower the risk of future breakdowns. Dust around your furnace, and check for any electrical wiring damage. Keep heaters away from flammable materials to prevent fires.

Regular maintenance and repairs will extend your furnace’s life, save you money, and keep you and your family safe. A new furnace not only keeps you warm, but it also heats up your bank account with increased energy efficiency.

Benefits of replacing a boiler with a furnace

Replacing a boiler with a furnace can have many benefits for homeowners.

  • Improved energy efficiency and lower utility costs
  • Ability to integrate with a central air system for heating and cooling
  • More options for fuel types, such as natural gas or electricity
  • Longer life span and fewer maintenance concerns
  • Better distribution of heated air throughout the home

It’s important to consider factors such as the size of the home, the number of rooms and floors, and the condition of existing ductwork or piping. A professional HVAC contractor can help with the decision-making process and provide a home estimate.

One unique benefit of replacing a boiler with a furnace is the improved air quality and safety concerns. Furnaces emit heated air, rather than the liquid or steam used in boilers, reducing the risk of carbon monoxide concerns.

I recently worked with a homeowner who was concerned about the yellow flame on their old boiler system and the potential safety concerns. We discussed the benefits of replacing their system with a new furnace, including improved efficiency and safety. After commissioning a new HVAC system, the homeowner reported improved warmth in various rooms and a significant decrease in utility costs.

Want to avoid icy showers and frozen pipes? Invest in a consistent and efficient heating system for your home and hot water.

Consistent and efficient heating of home and hot water

Say goodbye to feeling like a human popsicle in one room and a sauna in another! Replacing an old boiler with a new furnace can offer consistent and efficient heating for your home and hot water. It even lowers energy bills. Furnaces run on natural gas or propane, which is cleaner than oil or coal. They also have filters that capture more pollutants. Plus, they use forced-air heating technology, distributing warm air evenly throughout the house. As for hot water, furnaces provide consistent delivery.

You’ll need to factor in installation costs, which depend on the size and type of unit you choose. But long-term savings on energy bills usually offset them. Furnaces are durable and tend to last longer than boilers. A friend recently upgraded hers and saw lower bills immediately. The new furnace was also quieter than her old, noisy boiler. After making the investment, she felt peace of mind knowing her family had safer air quality and lower monthly bills.

Improved air quality and comfort in various rooms

Replace your boiler with a furnace and enjoy improved air quality and comfort. Boilers can cause carbon monoxide leaks and mold growth, but furnaces have proper ventilation and filtration to keep your home clean.

Furnaces provide better comfort by distributing heat evenly. Plus, they are more energy-efficient, longer-lasting, and require less maintenance than boilers.

In 3000 BC, the ancient Egyptians were already using brick kilns for pottery production. Furnaces have come a long way since then, with cutting-edge features designed for modern homes.

Save money on your energy bills by replacing your boiler with a furnace. No need for a gym membership!

Savings on energy bills and potential tax credits or rebates

Swap your boiler for a furnace to save energy and gain potential tax credits. Upgrade to high-efficiency models, invest in renewable heating sources, or use efficient distribution systems. Not only can you save money, but you may also increase the value of your property!

For expert advice on the best model for your needs, call Hart Home Comfort. Enjoy a warm welcome to your cozy home with a new furnace!


Replace your old boiler with a new furnace and reap the benefits! Enjoy improved comfort levels and cost-effectiveness. Hart Home Comfort is here to help you make an informed choice. Consider the differences: furnaces use heated air, while boilers heat water. Boilers usually last longer but may require more maintenance and higher installation costs. Furnaces bring you greater energy savings, lower carbon emissions, and reduced monthly heating costs. Hart Home Comfort offers flexible financing for easy and affordable upgrades. Get personalized recommendations today! Call for a free estimate. Upgrade to a new furnace and stay warm all winter!

About the author

Debarghya Roy: A heating systems author, Passionate about energy efficiency and sustainability, Sharing insights and empowering readers through informative blog articles.