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Boiler or Furnace? Selecting the Ideal Heating System for Your Home

A professional master maintaining a natural gas furnace

Around 51% of Canadians use forced air furnaces to heat their home. In contrast, less than one in ten homes are heated with boilers. There's a drastic difference in those numbers; however, furnace installations aren't right for everyone when it's time to update your system.

While boilers and furnaces serve the same purpose of keeping you warm during winter months, there are some key differences between the two.

Keep reading as we explore those differences and which solution is right for your home. 

Method of Heating

Boilers heat water and distribute it throughout your home using pipes and radiators. This radiant heating method provides a comfortable warmth that many people prefer.

On the other hand, furnaces use air ducts to circulate heated air throughout your home. This forced-air system quickly heats your living spaces.

Energy Efficient

Boilers tend to be more energy-efficient than furnaces because they operate at lower temperatures and don't lose as much heat through ductwork. Boilers can also provide hot water for showers and faucets, making them versatile.

Maintenance and Lifespan

Boilers require less maintenance compared to furnaces, but don't forget about the yearly check-ups. On average, furnaces can last from 15 to 20 years. In contrast, boilers typically have a lifespan of 20 to 30 years. Regular maintenance is more crucial for boilers than furnaces, so giving your boiler some attention regularly is vital to make sure it stays in good shape and works efficiently for those extra years.

Noise Level

A home boiler is typically quieter than a furnace. This can benefit those sensitive to noise or who want a quieter home heating system.


Boiler installations can be more complicated than furnaces. Because of this, while a home furnace installation may only take a few hours, a boiler installation could take anywhere from several hours to days. The amount of time depends on various factors.

Boiler vs. Furnace Installations: What's Right for Your Home?

Deciding between boiler or furnace installations depends on various factors. Both options have advantages and considerations, so weighing them carefully is essential. Some things to think about include: 

  • Budget

  • Energy efficiency goals

  • Space availability for equipment placement

  • Maintenance and lifespan

  • Types of boilers

  • Types of furnaces

  • Personal preferences

  • New construction

  • Existing building

  • Existing furnace or boiler system set up

Installing a boiler offers several benefits. They are highly efficient and provide consistent warmth throughout your space.

Boilers are known for their durability and longevity. They often last up to 20 years or more with proper maintenance. Additionally, boilers do not blow air around like furnaces do, which can be beneficial for individuals with allergies or respiratory issues.

On the other hand, furnace installations also come with their own set of advantages. Furnaces use forced air systems that distribute warm air through ductwork in your home.

This heating system tends to be less expensive upfront than boilers and is easier and quicker to install. Furnaces also provide the option of central cooling if you choose a model that includes an integrated air conditioning unit.

Find Furnaces or Boilers in Ottawa

Choosing the ideal heating system for your home is a crucial decision. Both boiler and furnace installations have their own advantages and disadvantages. It's important to weigh them carefully before making a choice.

At Clement Marchand, we're not just a company but your neighbors. Since 1971, our solutions have kept your family warm and happy. Enjoy peace of mind and comfort by choosing our trusted and licensed technicians for your boiler or furnace installation in Ottawa.

Request a quote to get started. 


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