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Electric Heating Systems

Electric Heating Systems

How Does Electric Heat Work?

Many homes have been using the electric heating systems to provide the much needed warmth during the cold winter months. When it comes to comfort, this system has an edge over those that use natural gas.

A major benefit that homeowners can gain from this type is its low maintenance requirement. Other advantages are its safety and space efficiency with the absence of boilers and water tubes. 

The heating process

The process of electric heating involves electrical energy being converted to heat through an electrical appliance. Inside every electric heater is an electrical resistor through which the electric current passes. This same electric current then converts electrical energy into heat. 

A heat pump, meanwhile, makes use of an electric motor to draw heat from a certain source such as ground water or outdoor air and deliver it to the home. 

All electric heaters follow the same heating principle. They only differ in the method in which they bring heat to the home. 

The various types

Electric under floor heating or the radiant heating system is the most commonly used today in homes. It may involve a heat exchanger or powered through electricity. When turned on, a radiant heating system in a home allows current to flow through a conductive heating material which then heats the floor or wall panel. From the floor, heat is then spread to the air and then to people and objects through the convection process. In this type of system, heat starts from the ground up to the ceiling creating a more balanced room temperature. 

Forced convection heaters are also known as fan heaters. It utilizes an electric fan to hasten the flow of air and spread to the desired spaces. This heating system, however, has its downside in that the fan causes noise while switched on. Also, they could be an ignition hazard when they come in contact with furnishings. Fan heaters are only ideal for quick heating of enclosed areas and should be given the right attention when being operated. 

Radiative heaters are sometimes known as space heaters. This heating system has a heating element that looks like a light bulb and with a reflector that emits infrared radiation. What happens afterwards is that the infrared radiation spreads through the air until it comes in contact with an absorbing surface. This heat is more effective as it directly keeps people and objects warm instead of warming the air. 

Radiative heaters are best for basements and garages which require spot heating. An advantage of this type of system is the absence of noise. However, their greatest risk is the possibility of igniting furnishings nearby. The possible danger is attributed to a lack of overheat protection and the intense focus of their output. 

Convection heaters provide heat through the process of conduction. This means that the heat provided usually goes up to the ceiling and thereby ideal for heating a closed area. This type is safer in that it could be turned on for a longer time and without any ignition hazard risk even if left unattended. It also does not emit any noise when in operation. These convection heaters are termed electric fires in the U.K. because they were initially used in place of the open fires. 

Whatever type of electrical system you choose for your home, itís important that they are well maintained to enable them to provide you and your family the heat you so need for a long time. 

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