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Boiler vs. Furnace for Massachusetts Homes

Boiler vs. Furnace for Massachusetts Homes
Choosing between a furnace or boiler for your Massachusetts home?

One isn’t better than the other. Which one you choose comes down to your needs and budget.

We’ll show you the pros and cons of each heating system.

Boiler pros and cons


Boilers can be used in combination with radiant heat— A radiant heat system can circulate hot water through your walls, floors or ceilings, causing them to radiate heat and making you more comfortable.

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Easier to do “zone heating”— That is, heating only the rooms you use.

Boilers are more energy efficient than furnaces—Boilers heat your home by transferring water to the radiators or baseboard heaters inside your home. There’s no heat lost in this distribution process, unlike how furnaces distribute heated air through leaky air ducts (see furnace cons below).


Boilers are much more expensive than furnaces— You still need air ducts for cooling your home with the AC. So if you go with a boiler, you’ll need to have 2 distribution systems (air ducts cooling and steam radiants for boilers.)

Furnace pros and cons


Relatively inexpensive— Furnaces deliver air through a duct system, which your air conditioner already uses. So you’re only adding the furnace, not a new distribution system (unlike the boiler).


Inefficient compared to boilers— Because furnaces deliver air via ducts, they lose some of their efficiency due to air duct leakages, forcing the furnace to run longer.

Can contribute to poor indoor air quality— Because furnaces use air ducts to distribute heated air, they can also distribute dust and other particles throughout your home.

Need boiler and furnace installation estimates in the Framingham area?

Contact Nicholson to get free installations costs on both boilers and furnaces.

Nicholson Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning gladly serves Framingham, Ashland and the Metro West area.