People often use the words “furnace” and “boiler” in place of one another. Of course, they both serve to keep homes warm, and they’re both solid options for heating your New Jersey home. However, there are also some differences between the two, and different suggestions for the best ways to take care of them in your Garden State home.
Tips for Furnace Use
The heating unit used in a warm-air system, also called a forced-air system, is a furnace. A blower forces its heated air through ducts. Then warm air reaches everyone through vents, also called registers, which are located throughout the house.
Tip 1: Check your filters regularly. In any warm-air system, it’s important to keep dust and other impurities screened out. During heating season, you should check the condition of your filter about once a month so you can change or clean them whenever it’s necessary. If you’re not sure what to do, give your heating oil company a call and they can walk you through the steps of how to do a filter check.
Tip 2: Set your thermostat to “on” rather than “auto.” You can maximize the whole-house cleaner that’s attached to your furnace by setting your thermostat to “on.” This is a better option than “auto” as it will keep the temperature even throughout your New Jersey home while it also offers ongoing circulation and filtration of your indoor air.
Tips for Boiler Use
With a boiler system, water circulates in the system’s combustion chamber in a hydronic (hot water) system. The hot water is sent through pipes, pumping to radiators or heat baseboards via a circulator. Ultimately, the water comes back to the unit and begins this cycle all over again. When you have a steam system, the water is converted to steam in the boiler. This steam rises through the pipes, to the radiators.
Tip 1: Do a damper check. If you have a baseboard and notice that you’re not getting heat, double check that the damper is open. You’ll want to confirm that the bottom of the unit is clear—away from any obstructions, like heavy carpeting.
Tip 2: Check the water gauge in a steam-type system regularly. The top cause of shutdowns are low-water levels. In the event that the water in the gauge has a rusty look to it, the steam boiler should be “flushed.” If you need assistance with this process, give your heating oil company. They can let you know what you need to do.
Tip 3: Check your radiator valve regularly. The radiator valve should always be clearly set to either “on” or “off.” If the valve is in between the “on” and “off” positions, it will be unable to regulate the temperature. This will also result in a hammering sound as it will cause your pipes to be strained.
Time for a New System?
If your boiler or furnace may be in need of an upgrade, reach out to your heating oil company to learn about your choices as well as rebates you may be eligible for.
If you’re not currently using heating oil and need to decide whether a furnace or boiler is the best option for your home, give your local heating oil company a call. They can help you make the best choice.