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What’s the Difference Between a Hot Water Boiler and a Furnace?

Although most people call their heating equipment a furnace, this is actually a completely separate system from the boiler. Understanding the difference between a hot water boiler and furnace in your Kingston home is very important. To help you out, we explain the differences and give you some great maintenance tips as well.

What Is a Furnace?

A furnace is the heating unit that is at the center of a warm (or forced) air system. After air enters the furnace and increases in temperature, a blower moves it through the ducts. At the end of the ducts, it is released through vents or registers and into your home.

Tips for Your Furnace

  • Replace standard throwaway filters once a month throughout the year. These are designed to filter out dust and other impurities.
  • Always make sure the furnace is off prior to changing filters.
  • Keep the furnace door and panel properly closed after changing the filter.
  • High-efficiency air filters require less maintenance – remove them and clean them as needed.
  • Keep the thermostat setting to “On” instead of “Auto if you have a whole house air cleaner. This will ensure continuous filtration and circulation of indoor air and helps maintain a balanced temperature in your home.

What Is a Hot Water Boiler?

For hot water (hydronic) heating systems, water is circulated through your boiler’s combustion chamber. From here, a circulator pumps the hot water through the system’s pipes to heat the radiators or baseboards. Afterward, the water reenters the unit and the cycle repeats. For steam systems, the boiler converts the water to steam, which then circulates through the pipes to the radiators.

Tips for Your Hot Water Boiler

  • If you don’t think you’re getting enough heat at you’re a baseboard, check that the damper is open and ensure that the bottom of the unit is not blocked by heavy carpeting.
  • Check the boiler’s water gauge periodically if you have a steam system. Insufficient water levels are the most common cause of shutdowns.
  • Flush your steam boiler if the water gauge looks rusty. If you don’t know how to conduct this procedure, contact our experts.

Tips for All Heating Systems

  • Don’t store anything flammable near your system
  • Keep the area surrounding your system as clutter-free and clean as possible
  • Keep baseboards, registers, and radiators unobstructed and clean to keep flow at its maximum.

If you need help maintaining or repairing your heating system, the Toshack team is here to help. Contact our hot water boiler experts in Kingston and Brockville today for further questions or to schedule a tune-up.

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