Boiler vs. Hot Water Heater

What are the differences between a boiler and hot water heater in your home? They both heat water, but have vastly different functions. The descriptions and differences for both are listed below.


A boiler is an apparatus that heats water and sends the liquid or its steam through the home’s pipes. While the water flows through the pipes, it heats the home. If a home has a steam radiator, steam is used to heat the home. If it uses hot water, a coil, baseboard radiator or floor system is used for heating.  In general, steam boilers are less efficient than the water boiler.

A boiler is considered to be environmentally friendly and energy efficient. By using natural resources, it reduces emissions and its carbon footprint is less than other home heating options. Boilers are able to last up to 15 years.

The average homebuyer, when looking to replace a boiler, will spend between $4000 to $7000. If you need boiler repair in Chicago, contact an HVAC company.

Hot Water Heater

A hot water heater stores and heats water. Most homes have a cylindrical tank heater that can hold around 60 gallons of water. These hot water heaters can be run by either gas or electricity.  Since the hot water heater stores water, it is insulated to keep the water warm when not being heated. A basic hot water heater’s life can last around 8 to 12 years.

The purpose of a water heater is to heat the water in your home. Cold water enters the bottom of the tank through a tube. Here, it is heated either by with gas or electricity. As the water heats, it rises inside the tank and leaves the heater through a pipe.

The tanks are made of steel with a glass interior to prevent rust and deterioration. It is typically this eroding of the tank that is the main failure of a hot water heater. The average cost for a homebuyer to replace a heater is between $500 to $700.

If you are in need of a home boiler repair in Chicago, contact Heatmasters Heating & Cooling. Find them online at

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