Some of our clients come to us confused about the different types of water heaters. So we want to take time today to explain the difference between two types of systems – indirect water heaters (a boiler system) and oil-fired hot water heaters.

Boiler Systems

An indirect water heater works in conjunction with the home’s boiler system. A boiler doesn’t boil water. In fact, its primary function doesn’t have anything to do with heating water for use in your home. Instead, the boiler turns water into steam, which is pushed through the house as a radiant heat system. People have used boilers to heat their homes since the late 1860s. It is a sound system because water holds heat better than air does.

An indirect water heater is placed next to the boiler. The steam that leaves the boiler is circulated through a heat exchanger in a water storage tank. This heat exchanger heats the water in the tank for use in the home.

Oil-Fired Hot Water Heaters

Oil-fired water heaters work similarly to electric and gas-powered water heaters. A tank of water is stored and heated, so it is all ready for use. An oil-fired system uses both oil and electricity to heat the water.

Benefits of Indirect Water Heaters

The most significant advantage of an indirect water heater is that the homeowner borrows the heat generated from one system to run another system.

Indirect water heaters are also simple systems. They do not have their own burners to maintain, which means there are fewer things that could go wrong. Indirect water heaters are also easier and cheaper to install since the system doesn’t have its own fuel lines.

A well-insulated indirect water heater tank, used in conjunction with a high-efficiency boiler, can be the least expensive means of heating water for the home.

Benefits of Oil-Fired Hot Water Heaters

Oil-fired water heaters are also known for energy efficiency. They can operate using oil and electricity or dual fuel sources such as propane plus oil.

Although these systems use their own energy source to heat water, the healing time is much faster. This makes the oil-fired water heater a popular choice for buildings with a high demand for hot water.

What is the Best System to Heat Potable Water?

Buying a water heater can be a complex decision that requires you to consider your hot water needs now and in the future. And if you are considering an indirect water heater, the way you heat your home is also a crucial component in your decision.

When analyzing these different systems, there’s one choice that is a no-brainer. To learn more about how to heat water in your home or business, reach out to HOP Energy.

HOP Energy has provided heating oil delivery and HVAC services to the Northeast for decades. If you need help choosing the right hot water system for your home or budget, fill out the contact form on the HOP Energy website.

Contact us today