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Heating Systems

Furnaces, Boilers & Heat Pumps: What’s the Difference?

Are you thinking about upgrading your heating system this winter? If so, you’re probably aware that there are a lot of different options on the market to consider. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to heating, and what’s right for one person may not be right for another. Fortunately, Meyer’s Companies, Inc. is here to help explain the difference between your three main options: furnaces, boilers, and heat pumps. Keep reading for what you need to know, and remember that for your heating repair and installation needs this winter and beyond, you can always count on our skilled HVAC techs at Meyer’s.


Furnaces are forced air heating systems, meaning they draw in and heat up air from your home and send it via a blower fan through your air ducts. They typically use fuel such as gas or oil, though some models also run on electricity. Furnaces remain extremely popular heating systems due to their affordability and energy efficiency. They are also easy to install, reliable, and can heat your home quickly. They can be noisy, however, and you will need to change the air filter and call for periodic maintenance in order to keep your furnace working at peak condition.


Like Furnaces, boilers are forced air heating systems because they send air throughout your home via ductwork. They also run on fuels like natural gas, oil, and propane. The big difference is that rather than using a heating exchanger, boilers heat your air by using water to create steam. Boilers are slightly more energy-efficient than furnaces, though they tend to be more expensive to install. Another benefit is that they come with quieter operation, and because they don’t push air around the way furnaces do, they tend to provide indoor air quality. Plus, because a boiler uses water to heat your home, it can essentially replace your water heater. One major downside of boilers is that they are less compatible with the average central HVAC system, which can be a problem when summer comes and you need to switch over to AC. They’re also more difficult to install, slower to respond to thermostat adjustments, and come with a greater risk of leaks.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps draw heat from the air outside and transfer it inside to heat your home. One major advantage of these systems is that they have heating and cooling capabilities, so this process can be reversed during summertime, using refrigerant to remove the heat from the air in your home. They are also compatible with or without ductwork; some heat pumps are forced air heating systems, but some are not, so if you do not have central air, you can still install one. This makes them a great choice for older homes or smaller houses/apartments. They are also extremely energy-efficient, as they do not require a fuel source, and tend to last longer than the average forced air system. The biggest downside of heat pumps is that they do not have the same heating power as boilers or furnaces. So if you live in a part of the country where it gets extremely cold during the winter, you may need another heating unit to provide the warmth you need.

Call Meyer’s Companies, Inc. for Great Options Today

Ultimately, whether you go with a furnace, boiler, or heat pump depends on the specific needs of your house and family. The good news is that at Meyer’s, we have top-notch options for all of these systems. Our technicians are capable of repairing and installing all the leading brands of heating equipment on the market, and with regular maintenance, we’ll make sure your system lasts for years to come. Call now for information about deals and specials, and remember, for all your home comfort needs, you can always trust Meyer’s.

For more information about heating system options or to schedule service today, just dial (219) 240-0610. You can also fill out our contact form online. We can’t wait to hear from you!