Serving parts of Fairfield, Litchfield & New Haven Counties since 1982

What’s The Difference Between Furnaces & Boilers?

Home Heating 101

home heating options connecticutNot everyone knows the difference between a boiler and a furnace, and a lot of folks use the two words interchangeably. While both a boiler and a furnace is capable of heating your Connecticut home, they’re not really the same thing. They do serve the same function (heating your home), but they go about it in two different ways. Here’s an easy introduction to boilers and furnaces and the differences in how they work.


Boilers use hot water or steam to heat your home. For this reason, a boiler is called a hydronic heating system. A boiler can either be a hot water boiler or a steam boiler. In a hot water boiler, the boiler burns fuel to heat water. That heated water is then pumped through pipes to baseboards and radiators throughout your home. The water returns to the unit and the cycle repeats. In a steam boiler, the process is very similar, but the water is converted to steam before being circulated throughout your home.


Furnaces are a forced air system. Furnaces burn fuel to heat air. That heated air is then pushed through a system of ducts that lead to vents or registers in the rooms of your house.

The easiest way to tell if a home has a boiler or a furnace is to check for radiators and vents. A home with radiators (or baseboards) has a boiler. A home with vents has a furnace. Now you know!

Whether you have a furnace or a boiler, trust it to the experts at Jennings Oil & Propane. Jennings Oil & Propane sells, installs, maintains, and repairs a wide range of heating equipment. In addition to providing world-class equipment and support services, we also deliver heating oil and propane.

Contact Jennings Oil & Propane today for all your furnace or boiler maintenance and repair needs. We serve customers in Danbury, New Milford, Southbury, Newtown, Ridgefield, Kent and surrounding towns in parts of Fairfield, Litchfield, and New Haven counties in Connecticut.