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Debate on terminology

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Charlie from wmass
Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,322
Is it a furnace or a boiler ?
Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

cell # 413-841-6726
https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
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Comments

  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,244
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    Great question with many different answers.
    To me the difference is the water or fluid that indicates boiler.

    Or a tough old chicken :)
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    Charlie from wmass
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,767
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    And yet, air is a fluid by definition.

    "Any substance that flows is considered a fluid. This includes such things as water, shampoo, sunscreen, and even honey. Although not necessarily obvious, even gases, such as air, can be classified as fluids."

    Get over it Charles, a boiler can be called a furnace.

    :)
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    Charlie from wmass
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,767
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    Let's throw up what started this argument.

    I told Charles he was wrong, and used this as evidence to back up my argument.


    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    Charlie from wmass
  • CTOilHeat
    CTOilHeat Member Posts: 56
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    In the field, that's easy. Boiler heats water/steam. Furnace heats air.

    By definition a boiler can be considered a type of furnace according to Wikipedia.

    "The furnace transfers heat to the living space of the building through an intermediary distribution system. If the distribution is through hot water (or other fluid) or through steam, then the furnace is more commonly called a boiler."
    MilanD
  • TomS
    TomS Member Posts: 62
    edited May 2017
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    OK here is another one: I came across an old instruction book for a forced air furnace. Instead of calling it a furnace it was listed as a "Winter Air Conditioner". Why does air conditioner have to mean cooling?
    CTOilHeat
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,646
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    You condition the air to what is a liveable and comfortable state. Meaning by adding or subtracting heat, and/or humidity....

    Such as an outdoor wood furnace....beacuse it's unpressureized they call it a furnace. I call anything that heats water used for heating a space a boiler.

    Splitting hairs...must be board.
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
    Charlie from wmass
  • bob_46
    bob_46 Member Posts: 813
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    I'll bet I can piss further (farther?) than youse guys. At least we all learnt (learned?) something about heating. I'm confused.

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,767
    edited May 2017
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    Wait until Charles sees my new signature. :p
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    CTOilHeat
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
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    ChrisJ said:

    And yet, air is a fluid by definition.

    "Any substance that flows is considered a fluid. This includes such things as water, shampoo, sunscreen, and even honey. Although not necessarily obvious, even gases, such as air, can be classified as fluids."

    Get over it Charles, a boiler can be called a furnace.

    :)

    Gases are "fluid" meaning they can have natural movement. They are not "Fluids" unless liquefied. Different definition of the term "fluid"
    Qing
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,546
    edited May 2017
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    Let's get both definitions out there.
    boil·er
    ˈboilər/
    noun
    a fuel-burning apparatus or container for heating water, in particular.
    a household device providing a hot-water supply or serving a central heating system.
    a tank for generating steam under pressure in a steam engine.
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,322
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    How many of us were chided as apprentices if we called a hydronic central heater for a home or building a furnace? I was both by my father and teachers in code classes. And inspectors.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,767
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    Fred said:

    ChrisJ said:

    And yet, air is a fluid by definition.

    "Any substance that flows is considered a fluid. This includes such things as water, shampoo, sunscreen, and even honey. Although not necessarily obvious, even gases, such as air, can be classified as fluids."

    Get over it Charles, a boiler can be called a furnace.

    :)

    Gases are "fluid" meaning they can have natural movement. They are not "Fluids" unless liquefied. Different definition of the term "fluid"
    Sorry Fred, you don't get to make up definitions.






    A gas is a fluid.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    Qing
  • MilanD
    MilanD Member Posts: 1,160
    edited May 2017
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    I was a bit confused over this too. A lot of guys here call it a boiler if it's water or steam, and furnace if it's air. I guess today that's how it goes.

    I was recently reading the old Audels Plumbers and Steam Fitters Guide (from 1925), and in it there is a 'furnace' listed as a part of the heating apparatus where coal (or other fuel) burns to heat water in the boiler, or to heat air in gravity air heating apparatus. Heating apparatus is referred to as 'heating plant'.

    So, per this book, the boiler is a vessel that holds the liquid, and furnace is the part of the heating apparatus where the fire is burning. Today, the part of the apparatus where fire is burning is referred to as a 'burner', and there is also 'fire box', for the area that's not technically the burner itself.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,767
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    I call mine Cedric and don't worry about it... He responds just fine to that.

    What about Bernice?

    Bernice, the Fernice................. :D
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    MilanDSolid_Fuel_Man
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,741
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    You are all wrong, it's a hot water heater not a boiler or furnace. ;)
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    ChrisJ
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,767
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    KC_Jones said:

    You are all wrong, it's a hot water heater not a boiler or furnace. ;)

    The origins of the debate. ;)
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,741
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    ChrisJ said:

    KC_Jones said:

    You are all wrong, it's a hot water heater not a boiler or furnace. ;)

    The origins of the debate. ;)
    Really? I had no idea. ;)
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • Rich_49
    Rich_49 Member Posts: 2,766
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    ChrisJ said:

    Let's throw up what started this argument.

    I told Charles he was wrong, and used this as evidence to back up my argument.


    All this proves is that some who write definitions in dictionaries can also be uninformed . Here's my question Chris J , ready ?

    At what temperature does air boil ?
    You didn't get what you didn't pay for and it will never be what you thought it would .
    Langans Plumbing & Heating LLC
    732-751-1560
    Serving most of New Jersey, Eastern Pa .
    Consultation, Design & Installation anywhere
    Rich McGrath 732-581-3833
  • Qing
    Qing Member Posts: 1
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    Rich said:


    At what temperature does air boil ?

    -320.4° F. (presuming nitrogen)
    ChrisJ
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,767
    edited May 2017
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    Rich said:

    ChrisJ said:

    Let's throw up what started this argument.

    I told Charles he was wrong, and used this as evidence to back up my argument.


    All this proves is that some who write definitions in dictionaries can also be uninformed . Here's my question Chris J , ready ?

    At what temperature does air boil ?
    Which part of it and at what pressure?

    Let's go start Nitrogen since air is mostly Nitrogen.
    -320.4°F at 14.7 PSIA.

    Oxygen −361.82°F at 14.7 PSIA.

    Water : 212°F at 14.7 PSIA.

    Carbon Dioxide : −109.3 °F at 14.7 PSIA

    Any other questions @Rich ?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • gschallert
    gschallert Member Posts: 170
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    LOL! Since a furnace is "an enclosed structure in which heat is produced" yes a boiler is also a furnace. Just like a pellet or wood stove can be a furnace. For whatever reason many in the HVAC industry shorthand the general high level classification term ("furnace") for a forced air heating system yet still refer to other furnace types by their specific operating function, doesn't make them any less a furnace than the forced air units. A Chevy Silverado is a truck but it's also still an automobile. ;-)

    https://www.furnacecompare.com/faq/definitions/furnace_types.html
    Qing
  • AMservices
    AMservices Member Posts: 610
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    I hear "furnace" and think warm air. I hear "boiler" and think forced hot water or Steam.
    I don't know what to call this from NTI
    " hermaphrodite"?
    https://www.ntiboilers.com/nti-products/GF200.html
    Charlie from wmass
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,322
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    No a Ford super duty is a truck. The Chevy is a car with a very large open trunk
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
    KC_JonesMilanDRich_49Solid_Fuel_Man
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,546
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    I wonder what the engine room crew on the USS Missouri would have done to someone asking where is the furnace on this ship?......
    Solid_Fuel_Man
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,415
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    No a Ford super duty is a truck. The Chevy is a car with a very large open trunk

    Now wait a minute here...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    CanuckerCharlie from wmassZman
  • Rich_49
    Rich_49 Member Posts: 2,766
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    ChrisJ said:

    Rich said:

    ChrisJ said:

    Let's throw up what started this argument.

    I told Charles he was wrong, and used this as evidence to back up my argument.


    All this proves is that some who write definitions in dictionaries can also be uninformed . Here's my question Chris J , ready ?

    At what temperature does air boil ?
    Which part of it and at what pressure?

    Let's go start Nitrogen since air is mostly Nitrogen.
    -320.4°F at 14.7 PSIA.

    Oxygen −361.82°F at 14.7 PSIA.

    Water : 212°F at 14.7 PSIA.

    Carbon Dioxide : −109.3 °F at 14.7 PSIA

    Any other questions @Rich ?
    No , no other questions . It appears that only water requires a boiler since everything else you mentioned is apparently already boiling and requires no mechanical assistance . All we have to do is get the others mentioned to PSIAbsolute .
    You didn't get what you didn't pay for and it will never be what you thought it would .
    Langans Plumbing & Heating LLC
    732-751-1560
    Serving most of New Jersey, Eastern Pa .
    Consultation, Design & Installation anywhere
    Rich McGrath 732-581-3833
    Gordy
  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,469
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    It's OK...........Kids today can call it a dog, and still get an "A" on the test. You know....One plus one is around three. Evidently, the knowledge passed down by generations of plumbers was wrong. My father and grandfather must be doing flip-flops.
    Rich_49Gordy
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,767
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    It's ok.
    Everyone on here says "hot water boiler" even though that would really be a very bad situation.

    It's not a hot water boiler, it's a hot water heater. :)

    The only actual boiler, is a steam boiler.

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,469
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    Or a steam furnace. In case you want to smelt the water.
    Solid_Fuel_Man
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,074
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    So it appears that the heating business has slowed down a little, regardless of the fluids involved.
    I asked my wife to define a fluid, she could only cite liquids as fluids as she is a med tech at the hospital lab. They never analyze gases, only body fluids, which having 4 family members in that business, becomes conversation at holiday dinners :s ....now with a new one in the funeral director business has introduced a new fluid that being for embalming, (yes, that is a liquid). ;)

    So that being said; I always try to explain pressure/boiling points to others by what happens to the human body of it is suddenly placed into a near perfect vacuum....just think of the si-fi movies of this ending in outer space....people always remember that scene.

    So 2 weeks ago we were in Huntsville, AL at the space museum.
    It is a great place to visit. We were walking the length of the Saturn V rocket that is laying down inside the building. Now you talk about a fuel burner and this takes first place. I overheard a docent answering a question posed by a 30something lady. She wondered what happens if you take you helmet of in outer space. He was very tactfully trying to tell her you would run out of oxygen and quickly suffocate. She seem unsure of that answer so I volunteered my input. I said that in that vacuum your blood would boil and expand tremendously, perhaps by a factor of 1600x and your head would probably pop like a large zit. They both seemed aghast at this suggestion.
    Now my wife tells me that I am never very tactful nor PC when saying statements like that.....however am I far from the truth??
    Rich_49
  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,469
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    @ChrisJ
    Not that you would want to, or that it would be safe, but I believe that any boiler can make steam.
    Rich_49
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,857
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    When will then be now?
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,322
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    I can get you talking, can't I?
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,572
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    For those civilians out there who are totally confused by this nonsensical thread.

    If you want to sound like you know what you are talking about and live in North America :
    A boiler heats water or other liquid usually to be distributed around for space heat. Boilers can actually boil the water ( steam boiler) but most do not. Industrial boilers don't necessarily heat space but are still boilers.

    Hot water heaters usually heat domestic hot water.

    Most furnaces heat air to be distributed around for space heat. Again industrial furnaces are different, they can melt steel and still be a furnace.

    Ok, now back to the show!
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
    Solid_Fuel_Man
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,322
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    How many times have the civilians been corrected on this wall for calling a boiler a furnace?
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,767
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    How many times have the civilians been corrected on this wall for calling a boiler a furnace?

    Civilians?
    Has Heatinghelp gone military?
    :p
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • ScottSecor
    ScottSecor Member Posts: 863
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    Just to add to the confusion, I always found it odd that manufacturers called part of scotch marine boilers the furnace.



    ChrisJCharlie from wmassGrallert