There are two types of heating systems used in Manhattan, New York homes; furnaces and boilers. You can thing of them this way:
Heating furnace = forced hot air + ducts.
Residential boiler = forced hot water + baseboards/radiators.
The biggest difference between a furnace and a boiler is that a furnace works by using air to transfer heat throughout your house and a boiler uses water. Each has pros and cons. Boilers are better at distributing heat through your home more evenly, but if you have a furnace combined with central air you won’t have to pay extra for the ductwork needed.
How Does a Hot Water Boiler Heating System Work?
A boiler uses water for heating and is called a radiator or hydronic heating system. The system is made up of a hot water boiler, baseboard, circulator pump, system of pipes and radiators that are placed throughout the home. The process begins when a boiler heats the water up and then a circulatory pump distributes it through a system of pipes into the radiators. As the hot water passes, if emits heat. When the water cools down, it then circulates back to the boiler to be reheated and sent out again. Boilers usually use propane gas or oil for fuel.
How Does a Home Furnace Work?
A furnace uses forced air along with a system of ducts to circulate warm air through the home. The ductwork will draw in cool air from a room and take it to the furnace. The air will be filtered at the furnace, heated and then circulated back into the room through a different duct system. Furnaces can come in upflow, downflow and horizontal models. Different models can be used to accommodate different areas of a home, like the basement, attic or other areas where space is limited. Forced-air systems can be combined with a humidifier and an air filter for improve air quality. If you have asthma or allergy sufferers in your home, it can be very beneficial. Gas furnaces are most common, more so in areas where winters get cold. Furnaces can also use electricity or heating oil for fuel.
Total Heating Comfort
The best thing you can hope for from a heating system is reliable warmth that is distributed evenly throughout your home. The last thing homeowners want is to wake up to a freezing cold house. A home with consistent room temperatures is more important in homes with smaller children and the elderly as they are both more sensitive to temperature fluctuations.
Heating Bills and Energy Efficiency Savings
It turns out that both systems are about the same when it comes to energy efficiency. New models of both have energy efficiency rating as high as 95%. If you have an older boiler or furnace, your energy efficiency will be very low, only about 50-65%. This means you’re wasting fuel and money to heat your home. You should consider changing your system for energy efficiency and to save yourself some money. The changes can include: a total replacement, adding zone control in a hot-water system, upgrading ductwork in a forced-air system or installing programmable thermostat.