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What is the difference between a heater and a furnace?

  1. Jan 11, 2011 #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?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 11, 2011 #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.
  4. Jan 12, 2011 #3
    Here is a WIKI definition for heater:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heater and here is a WIKI definition for 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.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2011
  5. Jan 12, 2011 #4
    I love that, it is but it isn't! :rofl:
  6. Jan 12, 2011 #5
    jarednjames, he means that a furnace is a stationary device, not necessarily always used for heating purposes, but also used for heating purposes.
  7. Jan 12, 2011 #6
    Firstly, it was a joke.

    Secondly, furnaces aren't necessarily stationary.
  8. Jan 12, 2011 #7
    Furnace - heater = box.
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