Boilers And Furnaces: Tips For Your Wisconsin Home

Boiler and Furnace care

Is a furnace the same thing as a boiler? In a word, no. Still, many people use the two words interchangeably. Yes, they both keep homes warm, and they’re both smart choices when you have to decide how to heat your Wisconsin home. So what’s the difference between a furnace and a boiler? Let’s take a look.


When you have a boiler system, here’s what happens: Water goes through the combustion chamber. The hot water travels through the pipes, as it is pumped with the help of a circulator to heat baseboards or radiators throughout the home. The water finally makes it back to the unit where it began and starts the process over once again.

With steam systems, the water converts to steam while it’s in the boiler. For these systems, the steam—rather than water—makes its way through your home via in-floor radiant tubing, baseboard, radiators or other sealed hydronic devices.

Without blowers or fans, boilers don’t add to the level of dust, dirt or other allergens and particles in your Badger State home’s air.

Quick Tips for Boilers:

  1. Check the damper. When you check the baseboard, are you getting heat? If not, give the damper a check. Make sure it’s clear at the bottom of the unit, and there are no obstructions in the way, like carpeting or toys.
  2. Give your radiator valve regular checks. You always want your radiator valve to be set to “on” or “off.” It should not be in between the two positions, as this will make it unable to keep the temperature regulated. A radiator valve that is not in the proper position will also strain your pipes, causing an annoying hammering sound.
  3. If you have a steam-type system, keep up with the water gauge. More often than not, boiler shut-downs are the result of low-water levels. If the water in your gauge is rusty, then it’s time to “flush” your steam boiler. Your heating oil company can help you out and let you know what to do if you need assistance with this.


Also known as warm-air or forced-air systems, furnaces produce heated air, which they send out into your home with the help of a fan. The fan blows the heated air through the series of ducts in your home, before the warm air reaches you through registers or vents throughout your home.

Modern-day furnaces can operate at a range of speeds and featuring other efficiency-enhancing features including microprocessor-based controls, high-pressure flame-retention burners and durable heat exchangers.

Quick Tips for Furnaces:

  1. Use the “on” setting, rather than “auto,” for your thermostat. Keep the temperature consistent all day long by using the “on” setting. In addition to keeping an even temperature in your Wisconsin home, the “on” setting will make it possible for your indoor air to be filtered and circulated constantly, without interruption.
  2. Always check your filters. Impurities like dust need to be kept out of the warm-air system in your home. About once a month, give your filter a check and switch it out whenever it looks necessary. Not sure how to tell? Want some help with the process? Call your heating company so they can let you know exactly what to do. They’ll be happy to help!

Rebates and More

If you think your home heating system is ready for an upgrade, give your Wisconsin heating oil company a call. They can let you know what options would work best for your home and your budget. They can also let you know if you are eligible for any money-saving rebates!