Net Boiler System vs. Furnace: Which is Right for Your Home?

May 17, 2023

Net boiler systems and furnaces are heating systems that can heat your home. They both offer many of the same benefits, but in some ways, they are quite different from each other. If you're having trouble deciding which one would work best for your home, find out how they work, what each offers and when it might not be a good choice for your home.

Comparison of Net Boiler Systems and Furnaces

Net boiler systems and furnaces are two common types of heating systems used in residential and commercial buildings. Here are some key differences and similarities between these two types of systems:

Heat Generation

Furnaces generate heat by burning fuel, such as natural gas, propane, or oil, while boilers generate heat by heating water or steam using electricity or fuel.

Distribution of Heat

Furnaces distribute heat through ducts and vents, while boilers use radiators, baseboard heaters, or underfloor heating systems to distribute heat.


Boilers tend to be more efficient than furnaces because they use water or steam to transfer heat, which retains more heat than air. However, both systems can be highly efficient when properly installed and maintained.


Furnaces are typically easier and less expensive to install than boilers because they don't require piping for water or steam, and they don't require a separate water heater.


Boilers require more maintenance than furnaces because they have more components, such as pumps, valves, and pressure gauges, that need to be checked and serviced regularly. Furnaces, on the other hand, require regular filter changes and occasional cleaning of the blower.


The cost of a furnace or boiler depends on several factors, including the type of fuel used, the size of the unit, and the complexity of the installation. Generally, furnaces are less expensive to purchase and install than boilers, but they may be more expensive to operate over time due to higher fuel costs.


Boilers tend to have a longer lifespan than furnaces, with an average lifespan of 15-30 years compared to 10-20 years for furnaces. However, both systems can last longer or shorter depending on how well they are maintained and used.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Net Boiler Systems and Furnaces

Heating systems are essential for maintaining comfortable temperatures in residential and commercial buildings, especially during colder months. Here are the differences between net broiler and furnace heating solutions in regard to their benefits and drawbacks.

Net Boiler Systems

Net boiler systems, also known as hydronic heating systems, rely on hot water to distribute heat throughout a building. This type of heating system involves a boiler, which heats water by burning fuel (such as natural gas, propane, or oil) or using electricity. The heated water then circulates through a network of pipes and radiators or underfloor heating systems, which disperse warmth into the rooms.

Benefits of Net Boiler Systems:

  • Energy Efficiency: Net boiler systems are highly efficient, as they transfer heat through water or steam, which retains more heat than air. This results in lower energy bills and a reduced carbon footprint.
  • Comfort: Net boiler systems provide consistent and comfortable heat throughout the house, without the hot and cold spots often experienced with forced air systems.
  • Longevity: Net boiler systems can last longer than furnaces, with an average lifespan of 15-30 years.
  • Flexibility: Net boiler systems can be used for both heating and hot water, making them a versatile and efficient option.

Drawbacks of Net Boiler Systems:

  • Installation Cost: Net boiler systems can be more expensive to install than furnaces due to the cost of materials and labor required for the water or steam piping.
  • Maintenance: Net boiler systems require more maintenance than furnaces, as they have more components that need regular check-ups and servicing. Neglecting routine maintenance of these components can increase the risk of water damage, which is a common issue with boiler systems.


A furnace is a forced-air heating system that uses a heat exchanger to warm the air. The heat source, which can be natural gas, propane, oil, or electric, ignites and heats the heat exchanger. As the air passes over the heat exchanger, it absorbs the warmth and is then distributed throughout the building via a system of ducts and vents.

Benefits of Furnaces:

  • Cost-effective: Furnaces are typically less expensive to purchase and install than boilers.
  • Easy to maintain: Furnaces require less maintenance than net boiler systems, as they have fewer components that need regular servicing.
  • Quick heating: Furnaces can quickly heat a space, providing warmth almost immediately.

Drawbacks of Furnaces:

  • Energy Efficiency: Furnaces are not as energy efficient as net boiler systems, as they rely on air to distribute heat, which can result in heat loss and higher energy bills.
  • Hot and Cold Spots: Forced air systems, including furnaces, can sometimes create hot and cold spots in a home, leading to inconsistent temperatures.
  • Lifespan: Furnaces have a shorter lifespan than boilers, with an average lifespan of 10-20 years.

How to Determine Which System is Best for Your Home's Heating Needs

When it comes to your home's heating and cooling system, the quality of comfort you experience is only as good as the system's efficiency. That's why we're here to help you find the best system for your home.

Assessing Your Home’s Heating Needs

Knowing your home’s heating needs can help you determine which system is best for your home. In general, we recommend that most households heat their homes with forced air furnaces since they are the most efficient heating option on the market and are compatible with a variety of fuel types. In addition to using a forced-air system, you should also consider how your home's layout affects where air returns from ductwork as well as how much insulation you have in your location.

Considering Installation Requirements

Deciding whether to install a net boiler system or furnace for your home can be a tough decision. Depending on what kind you choose, there are different requirements for installation. Net boilers are generally easier to install and maintain than furnaces, which require special electrical wiring, ventilation and other features to operate safely.

Evaluating Long-Term Costs

The boiler offers a smaller initial investment than a furnace, but you will have to pay for maintenance and repairs throughout its lifespan. A furnace is more expensive upfront but can last much longer than a boiler and is more energy efficient.

Energy Efficiency Ratings

Net boilers and furnaces are both common heating systems. Net boilers are becoming more popular due to their energy efficiency, but a furnace is still a great choice for those who want to maintain the comfort level their home requires.

Finding Professional Net Broiler Services in Calgary

When it comes to maintaining a comfortable and energy-efficient home or business, choosing a reliable and trustworthy service provider is crucial. And that's where 180 Plumbing and Heating comes in - a leading consulting and service provider for net broilers in Calgary.

With their years of experience, 180 Plumbing and Heating specializes in offering top-notch installation, maintenance, and repair services for net broilers, as well as other plumbing and heating solutions. Their unwavering focus on customer satisfaction has earned them an excellent reputation in the industry.

Whether you need a new net broiler installed or require regular maintenance, the team at 180 Plumbing and Heating has the expertise and skills to ensure your net broiler runs efficiently and safely. Their technicians are highly trained and experienced, and use state-of-the-art equipment to provide reliable and efficient service.

Carlos Diaz
I believe in making the impossible possible because there’s no fun in giving up. Travel, design, fashion and current trends in the field of industrial construction are topics that I enjoy writing about.

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