Throughout the chilly months of winter, ways to warm the home becomes a priority. Other than the orange glow of the flickering flames of a fireplace, there are two other main ways to generate cozy heat. These are convection and radiant heating.
Radiant heating comes from directly warming surfaces and although it can feel nice and toasty to sit by a radiator or similar appliance, the rest of the house may feel like a refrigerator by comparison. Convection air home heating is when the air temperature is heated, so that the ambient temperature is more consistent throughout the affected areas.
What’s the difference between Radiant and Convection?
The best way to describe the difference between convection air home heating and radiant heating is to imagine yourself outdoors. By standing in direct sunshine, you’re mainly feeling the effects of radiant heat. But, by standing in the shade on a hot, sunny day, you are now experiencing convection heat.
Ducted heaters and fan heaters are examples of convection air home heating appliances. They function by filling the space with warm air, more evenly and with greater reach than a radiator, for instance.
Energy efficiency is a prime consideration these days when trying to determine the best solution for temperature control in homes. Everyone wants to conserve power, save money and be kind to the environment but there is an invisible line beyond which it’s not possible to save.
In the depths of winter, keeping warm with layer upon layer of clothing just doesn’t make sense and at some point, it becomes necessary to switch on a heating appliance.
Fireplaces, while lovely, are deceptively unkind to the environment. Sure, they don’t require fossil fuels but they consume a great deal of wood and emit pollutants in the form of wood smoke. They offer roughly 50-60% in terms of energy efficiency – the ratio between the quantity of energy an appliances uses and the energy it emits as heat – whereas electric heating is at least 100% efficient, often greater. This makes convection air home heating far more agreeable.
Some methods of convection air home heating are portable and some combine gas and electricity. Some gas heaters feature electric elements that cut out once the temperature of the room has reached a pre-set range and then it will operate on gas only. Since gas is the more economical fuel, this makes a good deal of sense.
Then, if there is a sudden drop in the room’s temperature, for instance if a door is left open while seeing guests out, the electric element will kick-start again as a boost until the temperature re-stabilizes. Gas options are not usually permitted in bedrooms and bathrooms due to the size of the spaces so portable, electricity-only units are very convenient.
Buying Convection Appliances
When you go to buy a heating system, there are several things to keep in mind so that you bring home the right kind and size for your needs. Measure the size of the space to be heated, determine how often and for how long you will need that area to be heated on average, consider the cost of purchasing the appliance and how energy efficient it is to run, and ask about the running costs. Just because you score a bargain, doesn’t mean you won’t be paying big bucks for it long-term.
One more thing to keep in mind is that convection air home heating is ideal for families who have children and pets. There is a greater danger of burns with radiant heaters and fireplaces, and convective heaters emit far lower levels of pollutants.
Photo by comedy_nose, Creative Commons Attribution License