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3 Differences Between a Boiler and a Water Heater

A boiler is a water heater and a water heater is a boiler, right? Lots of people use the word "boiler" for any variety of water-heating appliance. However, a boiler does not work like a water heater, and vice-versa. Confusing the two can complicate the troubleshooting process and make communication difficult between yourself and a heating expert. Let's take a look at three differences between a boiler and a water heater, below:

1. A boiler heats water rapidly.

Boilers, which are full of copper tubes, are complex heating appliances that turn water into steam. They heat water rapidly for two different uses: hot water and home heating and are typically powered by electricity, natural gas, propane or heating oil. A boiler system heats water to the point that it boils, and the steam is used to transport heat throughout your house.

2. A water heater heats and stores water.

Water is usually heated to approximately 125 degrees. It's kept at a consistent temperature until it's needed -- aka when someone in your home takes a shower, washes the dishes or does laundry. Water is pulled from the top of the tank and pushed through your pipes. Cold water then fills the bottom of your water heater to be heated. The key take away here is that a water heater stores water until it is needed in a certain area of the house, while a boiler does not store water - it simply heats water as water passes through the tubes.

3. A heat-pump water heater is more efficient.

This type of water heater pulls heat from the air, making it more economical. However, it could potentially cost more money up-front and may require more maintenance. Keep this in mind when choosing the right water heater for your home, but know that the up-front costs and the efficiency costs will likely even out over time.
 

To learn more about the differences between a boiler and a water heater, call Rusk Heating & Cooling at (859) 405-0414. And remember, homeowners have trusted Rusk for heating and 
cooling maintenance and repairs for over 150 years!