As we enter heating season here in Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts, you’ll hear a lot of people talking about their home’s heating system.
More often than not, they’ll use the word “furnace.” As in, “It’s time to turn on the furnace already?!” or “I’m having Wesco Oil come do a tune-up of the furnace.”
But they may not actually have a furnace at all. They could have a boiler.
What’s the difference between a furnace and a boiler? you ask. Some big ones. And you need to know what you’ve got so you can take proper care of it.
Wesco Oil installs, maintains, and repair both furnaces and boilers. Our service technicians are all trained, knowledgeable, and experienced.
A furnace is what makes a forced-air heating system run. It burns fuel such as heating oil to heat air. That heated air is then pushed through your ductwork to heat rooms and spaces in your home through vents, which are also sometimes called registers. If you have those vents or registers for home heating, you have a furnace.
Because air is constantly circulating into the furnace when it is running, the air filter is essential to protecting your furnace and keeping it running at its best possible efficiency. Check your air filter every month and change as needed.
You may be forcing your furnace to work harder and not even realize it. Obstructions like curtains and furniture can get in the way of the heated air coming from the registers, so it doesn’t circulate around the room. Go around your home and move those obstructions.
There are two basic types of boiler: hydronic (hot water) and steam. A hydronic boiler burns fuel to heat water, then pumps it through pipes and into your baseboards or radiators. A steam boiler operates pretty much the same way as a hydronic boiler. But instead of heating water, it converts water into steam before sending it through to your radiators and baseboards.
If your baseboards aren’t getting warm, check to see if the damper is open. Then go around your room and make sure the bottom of the unit isn’t blocked by heavy carpeting. If you have a steam boiler system, check the boiler’s water gauge. Low water levels can shut down your boiler. Steam boilers should also be flushed when the water in the gauge looks rusty.
Count on Wesco Oil to take good care of your furnace or boiler. Contact us for service!