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|

This Repair Can Extend the Life of Your Water Heater

With proper maintenance, a quality water heater can last about 15 to 20 years. However, if the water heater anode rod is not regularly inspected and replaced, the water heater tank might rust out before it reaches 10 years of service. The anode rod – a long metal rod, usually made of magnesium or aluminum – is used to attract iron, limestone, and other minerals in water that would otherwise rust the inside of the water heater’s steel tank. The anode rod gradually corrodes in place of the steel tank, extending the water heater’s lifespan. And, in most cases, owners will need an anode rod replacement only about once every 3 to 5 years. Considerations before replacing the anode rod include determining if a magnesium, aluminum or zinc anode rod should be used, the hardness of the water, and what types of metals and minerals are present in the water. Learn about replacing the anode rod to extend the lifespan of a water heater.

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2023-01-09T02:35:31+00:00December 30th, 2022|

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|
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