Different Types of Heat and How They Affect You

August 19 2016

James Patten


It’s coming ever so closer to the end of summer – the heat waves are over, the rain is becoming more prominent and it is starting to become a little bit cooler (especially at night).

However, when it comes to heat, there are three forms of heat transfers; conduction, convection, and radiation. With these, it’s important to know what they are and how they can affect you in different environments.

Heat Transfer – Convection

Conduction won’t be touched upon in this blog, as that form of heat transfer tends to be more prominent in metals rather than air. So we’ll go straight to convection. Everyone knows that hot air rises – well, that’s convection. Hot air rises because when it is heated, it expands. This expansion decreases the density, meaning that the hot air is less dense than the cold air, therefore the hot air rises.

This process continues until the hot air cools, contracts and sinks to the bottom where the process occurs all over again. Convection is the main heat transfer process in industrial heaters, as they pump out warm air that fills the room and then the convection process occurs.


Heat Transfer – Radiation

The most well-known type of radiation is that from our Sun. However, this type of radiation is a little different to how radiators work. Radiators are metal devices that are used to radiate heat into its surroundings. Hot water or steam is pumped into the radiators. The heat is then conducted into the metallic casing, where the heat is then released into the room.

When it comes to radiant tube heaters, the process is a little different – they operate by heating up gas tubes. When the gas is heated, a high amount of energy is produced and it’s this energy that is directed to specific objects such as objects and people rather than heating the surrounding air.

Radiant heater

How Do These Affect You?

When it comes to different types of heat transfer, convection is the most efficient method as it is able to pump out a large amount of heat and can effectively heat an entire room. This is why industrial heaters and heating units are the most popular in the colder months. In the hotter months, convection is still the most efficient way to pump air into a room but, rather than using industrial heaters, using air conditioning units.

The reason why radiators are still incredibly popular today is because, even though they aren’t effective in heating an entire room, they are incredibly effective at heating small sections where people tend to occupy more. For example, an electric fireplace is great to warm people that are in front of the fireplace – the place where people would most likely be in the colder months.

Getting the right type of heaters (for the cooler months) and air conditioning units (for the hotter months) is incredibly important for the well-being of our employees and to ensure that the working environment is tailored to your employee’s needs. If you would like to know more information, then please don’t hesitate to contact us today on 01509 814 123 and we will be more than happy to help with any enquiries you may have.

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