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Serving Chesapeake and The Greater Hampton Roads Area

Serving Chesapeake and The Greater Hampton Roads Area

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Heater FAQ: Know the Major Differences

From furnaces to boilers, there is no shortage of options when it comes to heating systems that can work for your home. The problem isn’t choosing a bad heater, since all of these heaters can work in the roles that are right for them, the issue is more figuring out which heater is right for your particular home.

If you’ve been looking into having a furnace, boiler, or heat pump professionally installed in your home, then we understand the obnoxious amount of work that goes into researching each one. Not only is the research a hassle, but you’re often taking the advice from someone who is trying to sell you that service. A heat pump specialist is going to try and tell you that a heat pump is right for you, and a furnace manufacturer will tell you that a furnace is right for you.

If you’re trying to lower the chances of heating repair in Portsmouth, VA by having the perfect system installed in your home—keep reading and we’ll fill you in without the bias you’re used to.

Managing Expectations

You’re reading this for a long term solution, a system that will run effectively, efficiently, and affordably for years to come. So, let’s take a look at what that means.


Whether they’re gas or electric powered, furnaces are quite easily the dominant heating system in the United States and in most of the developed world. The first thing you get with a furnace is affordability, meaning many models cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars less than boilers, heat pumps, and other heating systems. The initial cost is low and their efficiency ratings have gotten much better in the past decade. If you’ve got access to a natural gas pipeline and you’re looking for an affordable, yet effective, means to heat your home, then a furnace is perfect for you.


Boilers are some of the oldest heating systems that are still in use today, and for good reason too! Boilers that power radiators or in-floor radiant heating systems, run hyper efficiently and exude a warmth that is unmatched by any forced air heater. Just like furnaces, natural gas-powered boilers are common and incredibly efficient.

Boilers tend to lead to better indoor air quality as well, since they don’t use air duct systems and circulate contaminants through your home. Rather, they radiate warmth through pipes in your home that don’t require any air intake. While not initially as cheap as a furnace, a boiler can absolutely last its weight in decades. While they technically only should last up to 20 years, we’ve seen old and reliable boiler systems enjoy their 30th birthday.

Heat Pumps

The most recent and efficient addition to the ranks of reliable heating systems is the heat pump. Heat pumps do the same job as your refrigerator by moving heat from one location to another. They run via electricity, use much less energy in milder climates, and can be switched to cooling mode in the summer months for quality air conditioning. They run a little more expensive than a furnace in upfront costs, but their savings on efficiency far outweigh any system we’ve listed. If you’re looking for versatility and efficiency, these systems are absolutely for you!

Now that you’ve got some background knowledge, contact us and see how we can make you smile here at the House Call Company!

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