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Most people do not know the difference between a furnace and a water heater. Down below we are going to discuss furnace vs water heater. Whenever the temperatures cool from year to year, you are not that concerned about the heating system type you have. 

All you want to do is set your home’s thermostat so as to heat your place without disturbing yourself. In case you want to decide on which heating system type to use, whether the water heater or the furnace, we have provided you with some of the key differences between the two. We have also noted how each of them operates in order to produce heat. 

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Furnace Vs Water Heater 

Quick Summary of the Two: 

Water heaters present at your place only provide your place with hot water and do not heat your place. 

Furnaces, on the other hand, heat air and ensure that it is blown into your place. 

Water Heater 

Water heaters as you are well aware of providing the home with a supply of hot water throughout for usage, for instance when you are taking a warm shower, or while you washing hands or operating the dishwasher. 

Water heaters as you well know don’t heat your place. Households that have water heaters can also find other alternatives to heat their place that include the use of furnaces and also heat pumps. There are two kinds of water heaters present in homes that include the tank-type water heaters and also the tankless type water heaters. 

Tank-type water heaters 

Before we go to the main differences or in other words furnace vs water heater we need to be aware of the types of water heaters present. Standard tank-type water heaters are the most common water heating system type in homes today. 

This includes heating water that is then stored in the tank holding up to 80 gallons. Whenever you push on the shower or the sink at your place, the warm water flows from the tank of the water heater where heating has been taking place continuously, to the plumbing pipes ready for use. 

As the warm water flows away from your tank, cold water refills back into the heater’s tank and the process is repeated once again. For most households, this type of system is efficient and sufficient in the supply of hot water upon demand. 

Some of the households in other instances may use the warm water faster as opposed to the other households before your tank could produce more. This happens when demands are coming from two different places at the same exact time.  

Tankless type of water heaters 

Tankless types as the word suggests, do not store any warm water, and in turn, only heat the water present upon demand. Coldwater on the other hand runs through tankless system type and in turn, gets heated along its way. 

The tankless type of water heaters tends to offer more energy-efficient services than the tank-type heaters. They are also in a good position to meet the family’s demands effectively. The tankless type of water heaters can have limitations in the water level they can provide simultaneously.  

How Does the Water Heater Function? 

As the cold water present in your place, enters your tank, this prompts heating to take place in order to produce hot water. In case you are using a natural or propane gas water heater, your gas burner ignited in order to heat water present. 

In case you are using the electrical heater, there is the presence of the heating element which is responsible for the work. As heating takes place, it rises to the tanks too. Hot water present is then dispensed for use. 

While the water heaters are present in your place, heat your water continuously. This allows the water to be readily available at the time of need. Tankless heaters, on the other hand, provide warm water directly on demand. Instead of the water remaining in the tank, heating takes place rapidly in the time of need. 

Water heaters present in your places tend to deliver warm water to the plumbing system of which includes the sinks, dishwashers, washing machines, and showers. They don’t heat your homestead. 


Modern-era furnaces run off electricity or gas or induction. They are safer and much more contained as opposed to the older versions. Small furnaces are usually electrical and often are attached to water heaters and boilers in order to generate the required energy to scald faucet sinks and also take hot or warm showers. 

How Does the Furnace Function? 

The forced-air furnace that uses propane or gas can be ignited by either electric ignition or the pilot light switch. Turning up or increasing the temperature at the home’s thermostat or rather triggering the forced-air furnace on will ensure the burners are fired up which prompts heating at your heat exchanger. 

A blower in other instances forces warm air in the ducts throughout your place. When the warm air is blown in a certain room, the air that has already cooked is also forced and sucked into air returns of which is sent back in order to undergo reheating at your home’s furnace. 

Furnace Vs Water Heater, Which One is Better? 

Water heaters require less maintenance and also produce hot or warm water effectively. However, it becomes very expensive to install it in certain cases and spoil from time to time in case you are not on the lookout. Furnaces are less expensive as opposed to water heaters.

They also require time to time maintenance that includes replacing the filters, they also produce a lot of noise and have a short life span as opposed to the water heaters at your place. 

Regardless of the heating system type, either the furnace vs water heater present in your place, you are supposed to clean and also maintain the model in order to ensure that it’s functioning efficiently and safely. 

Most of the homeowners that want new equipment for heating purposes can conduct internet research in order to obtain more information of which system type to buy and where it is located ready for purchase.

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