Difference Between Boiler and Water Heater- Smile HVAC

The heating of water can be done through two specified methods: using a boiler and using a water heater. To be noted, there is a conflicting argument that “is a boiler a water heater?” For many homeowners who are not experts in the plumbing fields, both boiler and heater seem to have the same functionality. But is a boiler a water heater? No. There are some distinctive differences between the two, and understanding them will help you select the best option for you. Read on to find out the significant difference between the two.

Main Differences between Water Boilers and Water Heaters

In a water heater, heating must be originating from gas or rather electricity. The boiler, it produces energy to heat water. Second, a water heater can perform one water heating task, while a boiler can heat water and deliver heat energy. Also, a heater is a container used to heat water in most cases, while a boiler can heat water and generate heat at the same time.

Lastly, for a heater, a furnace is used to heat air. A boiler heats water and channels it using pipes. Boilers heat water very quickly and are available in both tanked and tankless versions. A water heater is a large tank that can store water. There is another aspect that people should know. A warranty can only cover a boiler and not a water heater. Water heaters are used in most places, and you can easily find a replacement if it stops working.

What is a Water Boiler?

A boiler helps transfer heat energy from a source to water, raising the initial one’s temperature to the desired one. They can be used to deliver differentiated services like heating water at home. At the same time, it can be used to generate powerful energy. To be noted, the boiler rate of heating water is speedy and efficient. Though different from water heaters, they can be in tanked and tankless versions. They have a storage cylinder; this is contrary to the heater. The tank holds cold water while the cylinders hold only hot water.

Types of Water Boilers

It is also equally important to note that there are many different types of boilers. The difference is brought about by factors like the need and the purpose of the installation, among other factors. First, there are the combination boilers. The kind of boilers has a significant function divided into two. To start with, they are capable of supplying heat on the premise of the owner. At the same time, they act as the sole source of hot water. There is no cold-water tank in this kind of boiler, and there is also no hot water cylinder. It suggests that there is little space requirement and the hot water supply is unlimited.

The second type of boiler is a system. A boiler system usually doesn’t require any cold water tank and doesn’t have a hot water cylinder. In this kind of boiler, the water movement is that the water is directly heated and stored in the owner’s hot water cylinder from the primary source of water. The hot water capacity is limited in this situation, depending on the size. Another form of boiler is the conventional boiler. The boiler has both a cold water tank and a hot water cylinder; it needs more space.

What is a Water Heater?

A water heater is a vessel to heat water. It takes water from a water supply pipe and heats it. You can use the water to wash your hands or use it for cooking. Water heaters are used to warm potable water (clean for cooking).

Types of Water Heaters

The conventional water heater, the kind of heater, has an installed tank where water is stored and heated. The heater can be used for gas and electricity. The freshwater enters from the tank bottom, from where heating is done to the desired temperature levels, after which the water awaits usage. Another form of the heater is the Tankless heater, also known as the “on-demand” water heater. They are instantaneous water heaters but don’t have any storage of hot water. They demand less space.

The heat pump/hybrid water heater is the third kind of heater to discuss. They are more energy sufficient compared with the others. They are more efficient because they use heat from the ground or air. The kind of heaters is not right in cold areas since the pressure is low in such places. The last type of water heater is the solar water heater. They use energy from thermal panels that do not produce any electrical power. They transmit the energy from the sun to water. They are perfectly adequate to use in warmer regions.


In conclusion, there has always been confusion in understanding the difference between a boiler and a heater. From the context description, the two have been revealed to be different, as explained. Although they have almost similar purposes, they have significant differences that make their demand distinguish.

If you want your boiler or water heater installed correctly, then call Smile HVAC. Smile HVAC is a professional company offering HVAC repairing and installation services. We have experts who know how to install boilers and heaters. We also provide water heater repair services and maintenance. Call Smile HVAC today to get excellent services at the best rates.