A water heater and a furnace

Furnace vs. Boiler vs. Heat Pump

Three Types of Heating

When it comes to heating your home, you’re usually stuck with whatever was used in your home before your moved in. But if your current system is nearing the end of its life, or you’re looking to make an upgrade, you may be wondering if you have options.

You do! There are several types of heating systems that are effective and efficient at heating your home during the winter. We’re breaking down the three most common options so you can be more informed and make better decisions for your home heating.


Furnaces are by far the most common heating system used by American households. The system uses forced air to warm your home and is controlled by a thermostat. The furnace takes in air from the environment, heats it through the combustion of gas, oil, or electricity, and then blows the air throughout your home via a series of ducts and vents.

Furnaces are popular because they are highly effective in heating. Modern furnaces are also highly efficient, using up to 98 percent of their energy for heating, compared to older furnaces which use only 50 to 70 percent. The more energy used for heating, the less is lost to waste, therefore costing you less in operating costs.

Furnaces use air to heat your home and need a reliable ductwork system that services every area of your home. Ducts need to be occasionally clean and the system itself also needs regular maintenance in order to maintain its efficiency and performance.


A boiler, as you might suspect, uses water to create heat. Have you ever stood in front of a pot of boiling water for a couple of minutes? The whole area around you starts to get warm! So you can see how this heat-producing power might be used in a whole-home setting.

Boilers can be either steam or hot-water-based. The system heats the water and either sends that hot water or pressurized steam around to radiators.

Boilers don’t use any forced air, so your home may not feel as dry as it would if you used a furnace for heat, a bonus during the already dry winters.

Heat Pump

A heat pump doesn’t actually create heat like a furnace or boiler. It simply moves warm air from one place to another. This makes it highly energy-efficient and simple to use. Heat pumps are also unique in that they can bypass a duct system (although there are ducted options available).

Heat pumps have both an indoor and outdoor unit, connected by wires and tubes. The units work in tandem to move heat from outside to inside. Many units are also able to switch directions during the summer, so they can move warm air out of your home and keep you cool.

Which is Best?

Which unit is best largely depends on your needs and preferences. It may be more cost-effective to upgrade a system with a modern unit, rather than completely switching systems. But you should consult with your local HVAC professional to see which may be the best fit for your home.

If your home doesn’t have an existing duct system, or your want to add temperature control to newer sections of your home not connected to ducts, a heat pump may be the way to go, as you won’t need to tear your home apart installing ductwork.

No matter what system you have, make sure you look at its efficiency rating. If you have an old system, you may be wasting money on wasted energy compared to if you switched to a newer model.

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We guarantee that when you trust the Guaranteed Service team with your home heating, you’ll become a customer for life. Contact our team today at (732) 412-1134 to see the difference.


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