The Differences Between Boilers and Water Heaters

Tech Adjusting Panel

Ever wonder about what makes a water heater different from a boiler? A common misconception among people is that a boiler and water heater are the same things. And they’re right, to an extent. While both may have the same functionality, which is heating water, they do it in different ways and are used for different for purposes.Quail Services is here to teach you about the differences between boilers and water heaters.

What is a Boiler?

A boiler can do a lot more than just simply heating water. It boils the water and turns it into steam. After the water is done heating and turned into evaporation, it will come out of the boiler to be used in various ways.

A boiler can be used for:

  • Cooking
  • Cleaning
  • Central heating

Boilers are also extremely energy efficient because they have a feature known as a closed loop system. Here’s how the system works; after the heat is removed from the steam, the steam itself is turned back into warm water. The water then goes back into the pipeline and can be heated again. Furthermore, it will be a lot quicker to heat up as it will already be warm.

What is a Water Heater?

Even though the purpose of water heaters sound pretty simplistic, it’s actually a bit more complex than you might think. As the name implies, the purpose of a water heater is to heat your home’s water supply. Upon heating the water, the next function of the heater is to supply the home’s fixtures and appliances via the supply pipes.It’s important to keep in mind that despite there being multiple types of water heaters, they all work in similar ways.There are three types of water heaters:

  • Conventional water heaters
  • Tankless water heaters
  • Hybrid water heaters

Each of these water heaters requires different sources of fuel, which include gas, electricity and even solar energy.

Boilers vs. Water Heaters

Now that you understand how both appliances work, here’s a quick rundown of what makes them different.


  • Can heat up an entire complex
  • Generates heat
  • Turns water into steam
  • Has rather complex controls
  • Can run on sources like propane, natural gas, and heating oil

Water heaters:

  • Stores heat
  • Heats up water and supplies it to a household
  • Has rather simple controls
  • Can run on gas, electricity and solar energy