One end of the heating — cooling continuum, heating is one of the hottest (sorry about the pun!) topics when it comes to healthy and green building.
The optimum temperature within our healthy home, lies somewhere between 15 & 25 Degrees Celsius. The exact temperature will vary dependant upon a number of variables. These variables include surface temperatures, air moisture levels, circulation of the air and the nature of any heat emitted in the environment.
The provision of warm surface temperatures is a key to providing healthy green heat. If we are able to heat surfaces rather than the volume of air, then we are able to maintain achieve comfortable levels of heating with a lower and healthier air temperature. So what is so bad about air heating as opposed to surface heating?
- Warmer air temperatures reduce concentration, whilst increasing skin moisture levels and tiredness.
- Warm air heating systems have been linked with transmission of common viruses, increased occurrence of headaches and reduced circulation.
- Warm air heating is inefficient in that as warm air rises, the whole volume of air in a room needs to be warmed, including that above the heads of the occupants to ensure that the warm air reaches down to the occupants.
Lower air temperatures also make essential ventilation less of an issue. The energy loss when ventilating is lessened as the difference between the warmed internal & cooler external air temperatures is likely to be less.
Methods of surface temperature heating include pervasive systems such as underfloor heating as well as more focussed & targeted systems such as wood or multi-fuel burning fires. Some degree of air heating is inevitable in all heating systems, but these systems can provide efficient, effective and green methods to increase surface temperature.