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If your current heating system leaves you with cold hands and icy toes, it might be time for an upgrade. To avoid incurring high installation costs, most people stick with the same type of heater they already have, be it forced-air or radiant heating. Still, it pays to learn how furnaces, boilers, and heat pumps compare to help you decide which one is right for you.

Heating Your Home with a Furnace

Furnaces are the most common heating systems in the US. They convert natural gas, electricity, oil, or propane into usable heat for your home. Then, a blower circulates this heat around the house through a network of air ducts.


  • Inexpensive to purchase and install
  • Offers a long lifespan
  • Has low maintenance requirements
  • Can improve indoor air quality when fitted with a high-efficiency filter


  • Uses ductwork, which is prone to air leaks
  • Can spread allergens around the house
  • Creates the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning (applies to gas-fired furnaces)

Heating Your Home with a Boiler

Boilers generate hot water or steam, which is distributed through pipes, tubing, or radiators. They can run on natural gas, electricity, or propane and deliver heat directly to the floors, walls, or baseboards.


  • Operates quietly
  • Doesn’t kick up dust and allergens
  • Heats rooms comfortably and evenly from the ground up
  • Can be retrofitted to heat your water
  • May be more efficient than forced-air systems


  • More expensive to purchase and install, especially in retrofit scenarios
  • Not compatible with central air conditioning
  • Takes longer to change the temperature in the room
  • May leak and cause water damage

Heating Your Home with a Heat Pump

Heat pumps are a type of forced-air system that uses electricity to move heat rather than generate it from a fuel source. Depending on the type of heat pump you choose, it may collect heat from the outdoor air, water, or ground.


  • Very efficient, making it a good alternative for costly electric furnaces when natural gas isn’t an option
  • Offers both heating and cooling capabilities
  • Works with your existing ductwork if you currently have a furnace
  • Available in ductless mini-split form if you don’t have ductwork


  • More expensive to purchase than a furnace
  • Loses efficiency as the temperature drops outside
  • Produces lukewarm air, which may not feel as comfortable
  • Requires maintenance twice a year

Parley’s PPM Plumbing, Heating & Cooling opened its doors over 40 years ago, beginning a tradition of unparalleled customer service and quality HVAC repairs and installation. We’re dedicated to your satisfaction and strive to do it right the first time. Regardless of what heating equipment you have, we can service or upgrade it to meet your family’s needs. Call us at 801-226-3033 for Utah County residents or 801-229-2665 if you live in Draper or Sandy. You can also contact us online with any questions you have.

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