Long ago, hot water was a luxury. But no more! It’s quite the miracle that these days we can get steaming hot water from multiple places in our homes within seconds. To do this, many homes come equipped with a boiler and a water heater. What’s the difference? Do they do the same thing? In this week’s blog, Solution Based Plumbing, Heating, and A/C will examine water boiler vs. water heater. We’ll look at their main purposes and the differences between them.
What is a Boiler?
First, let’s look at the function of a boiler. A boiler is a heating system for your home. It can push hot water throughout the home with a heat pump, or create steam and distribute it via radiators or radiant floor systems. Depending on the boiler, it can also provide hot potable water. Similar to water heaters, you can get them in tank- or tankless versions.
Main types of boilers include:
- Combination – A central heating boiler combined with a high-efficiency water heater that heats water directly from the main.
- Conventional – Stores hot water with the help of a cold water tank and a hot water cylinder, and sometimes an expansion tank. It requires a lot of space, but is ideal for bigger homes.
What is a Water Heater?
What about water heaters? Water heaters heat potable water that can be used for showers, laundry, dishwashers, etc. Unlike boilers, they do not heat the whole home. If you have a water heater, you will also need a heating system such as a boiler or furnace. Water heaters also come in a few different types:
- Conventional – Water is stored in a tank and heated with gas or electric power. Heated water remains in the tank until used.
- Tankless – Also known as “on-demand” water heaters. No water is stored – it gets heated as needed.
- Heat Pump/Hybrid – A more energy-efficient option that uses heat from the ground or air. Less than ideal for very cold climates.
- Solar – Uses solar thermal panels that take heat from the sun and bring it to your water heater. Best for sunnier regions.
We hope this clarifies some of the similarities and differences between water boilers and water heaters!
Need Help With Boiler vs. Water Heater?
If you have a plumbing issue with either a water boiler or a water heater, contact us! Along with knowing the ins and outs of both water boilers and water heaters, our staff also provides excellent customer service. So reach out today!