Water Heating Systems – The Difference Between a Boiler vs. Water Heater

There are key differences between a boiler and a water heater. Hot water boilers can be used to heat water for use throughout the home, but they’re more commonly used to heat indoor air with a series of connected radiators. Steam boilers heat water up enough that it turns to steam, which is pumped through radiator lines to warm up indoor air. Steam boilers are more commonly used in commercial settings, while hot water boilers are better for residential properties. Boilers can be more energy-efficient and quieter than furnaces, making them a great option for home heating. Hot water heaters are only designed to heat water for use in faucets, fixtures, and appliances. Unlike water heaters, boilers do not store water. However, there are also tankless water heaters, which quickly heat cold water as it flows through the unit, allowing the hot water to be used on-demand.

Standard steam boiler systems typically last 25 or more years, while a combination water heater boiler may only last 10 to 15 years. The average tank water heater lasts about 6 to 10 years, and tankless water heaters last longer at up to 20 years.

Boilers and water heaters both require annual maintenance. Visual inspections can identify problems like leaks, but homeowners may need a professional for system maintenance, like flushing, draining, or lubricating. Typical boiler maintenance includes a visual inspection for leaks or other problems, lubricating circulating pumps to reduce wear, flushing the boiler to remove built-up sediment and debris, and a safety valve check to ensure the security of the system. Typical water heater maintenance includes a visual inspection for leaks or other problems, checking the pressure relief valve to ensure it is working properly, draining and flushing the water heater to remove sediment and debris, and operating the valves to prevent them from seizing.

Before deciding between a boiler vs. water heater for your home, carefully consider your needs. Boilers are expensive and difficult to install, but they can be a long-lasting option if the home doesn’t currently have a dedicated heating source, and can also be used to heat water for use throughout the home. Water heaters are a more affordable choice that can be installed with relative ease, though these appliances cannot function as a heating source. Learn about differences in functionality and maintenance between boilers and water heaters that could impact which type of water heating system you install.

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2023-12-28T11:06:52+00:00December 27th, 2023|

Why Is There Water in the Bottom of My Dishwasher When It’s Not in Use?

A dishwasher filling with water when it’s not being used typically means that dishwasher repairs are imminent, but the severity of the issue may not be immediately obvious. The problem could be as simple as a minor drain clog or a kinked drain hose, or it could be something more extreme such as a leak in the water supply line. Common causes of water in the bottom of a dishwasher include a backflow caused by a kink in the drain hose, a malfunctioning check valve in the dishwasher’s drain system, a broken or worn out inlet valve, a leaking water supply line, a faulty drain pump, and a clog in the drain line. Steps to take to confirm if the drain is clogged include removing the pooled water from the dishwasher, checking the bottom of the dishwasher for debris and ensuring the drain is clear, cleaning the dishwasher filter, checking the drain hose to ensure the hose isn’t blocked, and running an empty dishwasher cycle. There are steps a homeowner can take to troubleshoot the issue, however, most repairs should be completed by a licensed plumber or appliance repair technician.

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2023-09-25T01:52:40+00:00September 19th, 2023|

How a Sustainable Kitchen Remodel Can Save You Money

Some home renovations can add almost as much value to a home as they cost a homeowner to complete. According to the Remodeling 2023 Cost vs. Value Report, projects like a minor kitchen remodel can offer a return on investment of more than 85 percent. And choosing appliances, fixtures, and materials that are more sustainable and energy-efficient than the previous units can not only help the environment, but could also attract more buyers should you want to sell your home.

Sustainable upgrades that homeowners should consider as part of a kitchen remodel, or a basement kitchen and kitchenette installation, include water-saving kitchen faucets; materials made from renewable sources such as glass kitchen countertops, linoleum flooring, and bamboo flooring; and energy-efficient appliances such as electric stoves and electric cooktops. For example, upgrading to a more efficient faucet and dishwasher can enhance the functionality and aesthetics of a kitchen, as well as help reduce household water use by 30 percent.

Learn ideas for your upcoming basement kitchen or kitchenette installation and how to include sustainable material and fixtures that could yield energy and cost savings.

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2023-05-15T19:58:39+00:00May 12th, 2023|

Home Repairs and Renovations to Make an Old Home More Energy Efficient

Older homes are known to be less energy efficient than newer models, however, there are several home repairs and renovations that can be made to older homes to make them more energy efficient. Suggested energy efficiency updates include upgrading the HVAC system, sealing the attic and adding insulation, fixing drafty doors and windows, updating the electrical system, installing a heat pump, replacing shower heads and toilets with low-flow models, and fixing leaky faucets. Learn about these repairs that can reduce energy consumption and monthly utility bills.

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2022-10-19T00:05:38+00:00October 12th, 2022|

Why Is My Electric Water Heater Not Working, and Who Can Fix It?

Common causes of an electric water heater not working or running out of water too quickly include a blown fuse, tripped circuit breaker, a faulty thermostat or heating element, or the water heater is undersized and cannot produce adequate hot water for the home. To identify the cause of the water heater not functioning properly, it is best to contact a licensed plumber or electrician. A professional plumber or electrician can diagnose the issue correctly and determine if the water heater can be repaired or needs to be replaced. Learn about common causes of an electric water heater not functioning properly and resolutions.

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2022-10-19T00:00:59+00:00October 4th, 2022|

Water Heater Upgrade and Other House Projects to Consider if the Climate Bill Passes

The climate bill that recently passed for 2022 offers rebates and tax breaks for qualifying homeowners who install energy-efficient products such as an energy efficient water heater. Estimated savings are approximately $1,800 in annual costs for gasoline and utility bills and can exceed $30,000 after 10 years and $140,000 after 25 years, if a household invests their energy bill savings from making energy efficiency upgrades.

There are many ways to make your home more energy efficient, including upgrading to an energy efficient water heater, installing an HVAC heat pump, adding insulation, installing rooftop solar panels, replacing drafty windows and doors, and more. For example, an energy efficient water heater will use approximate one-third of the electricity of a conventional water heater and would qualify for up to $1,750 in rebates.

Learn about home improvements that can reduce energy costs and quality for tax savings and rebates.

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2022-08-14T14:15:06+00:00August 12th, 2022|

How to Hire a Plumber for a Water Heater Repair

While some water heater problems may be fixed with little mechanical knowledge, some issues require professional help. A plumber can assist homeowners in repairing their water heater timely and efficiently, and they can save homeowners money. Hiring a plumber can prevent a homeowner from buying parts for their water heater if the appliance needs to be replaced.

The average cost to repair a water heater is $587, with typical repair costs ranging between $150-$955. Common water heater problems include temperature issues, leaks, and running out of hot water.

When hiring a plumber, make sure the plumber is licensed and is established in your local area, request a quote for the repairs before authorizing work, confirm the plumber has liability insurance and worker’s compensation, and confirm their expertise in water heater repair and replacement.

Learn more about the cost for water heater repair and replacement and considerations before hiring a professional plumber.

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2021-10-22T01:38:29+00:00October 12th, 2021|

The Cost to Install a Water Softener System

Water softener systems can neutralize or eliminate heavy minerals from water reducing the water’s hardness. These systems are available in various configurations based on method of mineral removal and volume of water to be treated. Water softener systems cost between $500-$6,000. Factors that impact the cost of installing a water softener system include the type and capacity of the water softener the system, size of the house or plumbing system, area of the home that will utilize treated water, geographic location, electrical and plumbing requirements, permits, and labor for installation. Keep in mind that the water softener systems will require regular maintenance to perform. Learn about why your home may require a water softener system, different types of water softener systems, and costs for installation.

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2021-08-12T13:30:13+00:00August 11th, 2021|
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