Can I heat my house with a water heater? Or should I use a boiler?
The higher efficiency units will cost less to run over extended time and an investment in a boiler will yield almost a 15% return on your money invested in a stronger heat plant. Initial costs on a boiler will be over 3-1/2 times that of a tank style water heater. But you do get what you pay for. Will your budget allow for an investment for an investment in a high power, long lasting, high efficiency power plant or do you need to tighten the belt and take a shorter life solution.
This is a bit of a throw away point for many customers but it needs to be considered. What warranty will you receive when using your heat plant for your heating system? Since Water Heaters are designed and built for domestic hot water distribution, the manufactures will write their warranties for that application. If you install a water heater for space heating, you will either void the warranty or decrease the warranty to about 1 year. Read the Warranty fine print.
Boiler Manufacturers are usually offering warranties on the boiler heat exchangers for 15-25 years (electronic parts are less). However, if you are do-it-yourselfer and expect to install your own boiler, again read the fine print, you may be voiding the warranty and have to pay for any replacement parts need from installation problems or breakdowns.
Now that you have determined if the option of using a water heater is applicable to you, make sure you let us do a full heat loss calculation and a unit comparison to see what your best choice is. Visit our website or Contact Us at Pexheat.com for more information. We are glad to help.
Brian Whitehurst is the Senior Design Engineer and Owner of Pexheat.com a radaint floor heating design and sales company operating since 2002.