What is the difference between a heater and a furnace?

In summary, a heater is a device that provides heat while a furnace is a stationary device that is used for heating purposes. While both are used for heating, a furnace is typically a larger, more permanent installation and can also have additional functions such as being used for garbage disposal or power generation.
  • #1
I am asking about heaters that heat houses (not water heaters, etc.). I am asking about furnaces that heat houses.

What is the difference between a heater and a furnace?
 
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  • #2
A heater is just that, a device that provides heat.

A rough definition on furnace from a few sources is "an enclosed chamber to produce heat".

If you check the definition of furnace you will see it follows that line.

A furnace is a heater.
 
  • #3
Here is a WIKI definition for heater:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heater and here is a WIKI definition for furnace:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Furnace
Generally speaking, there are many different types of heaters. E. g. an electric heater (1-2 kW) for the bathroom in the spring or autumn when the heating system in the house is not running. Pocket heaters to warm your hands in the wintertime either battery or gas powered. The heater in the car etc. A heater can be portable.
A furnace is a stationary device - not necessarily - but also used for heating purposes e. g. an incinerator in a morgue. Furnaces are also used for garbage disposal; in modern designs, the resulting heat is used for power generation and heating purposes. Oil or gas furnaces are used in homes solely for heating purposes and hot water availability.
 
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  • #4
yoatmon said:
A furnace is a stationary device - not necessarily

I love that, it is but it isn't! :rofl:
 
  • #5
jarednjames, he means that a furnace is a stationary device, not necessarily always used for heating purposes, but also used for heating purposes.
 
  • #6
Firstly, it was a joke.

Secondly, furnaces aren't necessarily stationary.
 
  • #7
partialfracti said:
What is the difference between a heater and a furnace?

Furnace - heater = box.
 

What is the difference between a heater and a furnace?

A heater is a device used to generate heat and increase the temperature of a specific area or room, while a furnace is a larger heating system that is used to heat an entire building or home.

What type of fuel do heaters and furnaces use?

Both heaters and furnaces can use various types of fuel, including electricity, natural gas, propane, and oil. The type of fuel used depends on the specific model and design of the heater or furnace.

Can a heater and a furnace be used interchangeably?

No, a heater and a furnace serve different purposes and cannot be used interchangeably. A heater is designed for smaller spaces, while a furnace is meant to heat larger areas. Additionally, furnaces often have ductwork and other components that heaters do not.

Which one is more energy-efficient - a heater or a furnace?

It depends on the specific model and design of the heater or furnace. Generally, newer models of both heaters and furnaces are more energy-efficient than older models. It is important to compare energy ratings and choose a model that fits your specific heating needs.

Do heaters and furnaces require maintenance?

Yes, both heaters and furnaces require regular maintenance to ensure they are functioning properly and efficiently. This may include changing air filters, cleaning components, and scheduling professional inspections and tune-ups.

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