The word “furnace” has become a generic term for heating systems. In reality, a furnace is the heating unit in a warm air (also called forced-air) system. After air is heated in the furnace, a blower forces it into a duct system, and it is released through vents or registers on floors, walls, or ceilings.
Use your ducts to make your home more comfortable: The ductwork that connects with your furnace can provide other kinds of conditioned air to make your home more comfortable. For example, you can stay cool with a central air conditioning system. Adding a whole-house humidifier can eliminate dry air. Installing an air cleaner can filter out dust, pollen and other particles that can cause allergic reactions.
If you have a hot water (hydronic) system, water circulates around your boiler‘s combustion chamber. A boiler heated with home heating oil gets hot and is maintained at a certain temperature until a thermostat calls for heat. At that point, circulator pumps circulate the hot water through pipes to heat baseboards or radiators. Eventually the water returns to the unit to begin the cycle again.
Steam systems work similarly except they generate steam, which rises up to the radiators with no circulator needed.A low water cut-off shuts down the boiler if water levels drop too low, preventing boiler damage.
Use your boiler to cut water heating costs: With a boiler, you can cut your water heating costs and have as much hot water as you want by installing an indirect-fired oil water heater. An indirect water heater uses the water heated by your oil boiler to heat the water in your water heater’s storage tank. (The boiler-heated water never comes in contact with the water in the tank.) An indirect water heater heats water super-fast and saves you money!