4 Key Areas For Differentiating Water Heaters And Boilers

In winters, hot water is one of the necessities of life. It is nearly impossible to use cold water for carrying out day to day activities like cooking, bathing, doing laundry, washing up dishes and many more.

So, it is important to have an effective water system that must be regulated in the entire home.

An effective hot water system is usually somewhere associated with the two terms i.e. the water heater and the boiler. But most of the people are confused between the two words. The major confusion lies in the name itself.

People think the heater is used to heat the water and the boiler must be used to boil the water. But this isn’t correct at all. Heater and boilers both are used for heating up the water only but they use different ways to heat up the water.

The difference can also be seen on the basis of the internal pressure, the amount of water has to be heated and the operating temperature.

Let’s try to find out how they differ.

What Is The Water Boiler?

Boilers are powerful appliances which are mainly designed for turning the water into the steam. They perform many outfitted functions, which makes them prove to be a very beneficial investment in the home.

The water conversion into the steam follows up with many pros like helping in generating the electricity, keeps the floor warmer and home cosier, helping you to lead a comfortable life. They even heat up the air too which provides you with comfort during the winter season.

what is a boiler

Boilers run with almost all the types of fuels like electricity, gas, propane and heating oil even some of the boilers sometimes have the ability to run with more than one fuel depending largely upon their availability.

Because of their fitting, they are mostly considered the same as water heaters. They can also be used to provide the hot water if they are attached to the faucets, showers, dishwashers and washing machines etc.

The two main types of boilers which are present in the market are:

  • Tankless versions of water boilers

  • Tanked versions of water boilers

Both of the above types come with the option of being attached with a hot water cylinder.

The better option for you to choose is the tanked water boiler with a heat water cylinder attached to it if you aren’t having a central air conditioning attached to the heater at home.

The reason for choosing this is because they can even act as a system which used to heat up your place at the time of winters and give you a sense of warm feeling.

What Is The Water Heater?

Water heaters aren’t very flexible if they are compared to the water boilers. They are mainly and solely responsible for the one and the single job i.e. to heat portable water.

The portable heat water can be further used for almost all the household chores like showers, washing machines, to wash dishes, and many more.

combination boiler and hot water heater

The standard water heaters are mostly associated with the storage tanks which are responsible for storing the water and heating up, further used for at any time.

Even the heaters can be used with electricity or gas.

The fitting of the water heaters is the same as the water boilers. The water from a water heater is sent via plumbing pipes to various hot water-using appliances.

If you are having a central air conditioning system at home, you should go for a water heater, not for the boiler.

One of the categories of water heaters also includes tankless water heaters which provide on the spot hot water but are unable to store it for longer. They are pocket friendly and help to lower down the water heating bills and reduce water consumption.

The points for the major differentiation between the water heater and the water boiler:

  • Any Water heater which is capable and has the ability to store more than 120 gallons of water, operates at or above 160psi or has a heat output of more than 200,000BTUs per hour is classified as a boiler. Whereas water heaters usually hold up to 20 to 50 gallons of water but some exceptions of water heaters can hold up to 120 gallons of water.

  • Boilers are usually composed of copper tubes, which are an excellent conductor of heat and electricity, and use the complex and higher level of heating appliances used for hot water and home heating. They also function by the power generated 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.

  • A water boiler is mainly responsible for heating up the water not much concentrated with its storage exception of having tanked water boilers and directly sends it to the pipes of the system attached to it. Whereas, water heaters are stores water as their main function until it is needed in a certain area of the house.

  • The water heaters are far more economical than the water boilers as they use the heat from the air. But they may be higher at the maintenance costs depending upon the way of using as well on the type and the brand of water heaters.


To prevent the extra and the up-front money the boilers are one of the best options. On the other hand, water heaters are better at saving energy consumption and reducing your monthly expenditure.

They are easy to operate and the maintenance of the heaters can be avoided by the professionals. Whereas, boilers are a great system providing not only the hot water but also comes up with several other functions.

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