Project Planet Rescue: From your home (Part II)

Project Planet Rescue: From your home (Part II)

By Anjana Mehta

In continuation with our focus on environment, we present to you the second part of our 3-part series on how as an individual we can reduce our carbon footprint and save the world for not just the generations to come but ourselves now as the situation is seriously severe. Anjana Mehta tells us about simple measures that she uses effectively in her house in Bhiwadi, Rajasthan.

Fan heaters use up oxygen and humidity. They are also the most power hungry.

Infrared heaters – which is what halogen heaters are, are the most power efficient, and have no impact on oxygen or humidity. Their heat is absorbed by objects in their line of sight – the human body, carpets and bedding etc.

Oil heaters cost more to run, are slow to heat up, and waste heat by continuing to warm a space after they are switched off as oil takes time to cool down. The heat generated by oil heaters is prone to rising up towards the ceiling further causing heat wastage.

Ofcourse oil heaters are the solution for people who find the light from infrared heaters annoying.

Only fan heaters would affect asthmatics as they distribute the air around the room, not infrared or oil heaters.

Oil-filled heaters are more commonly known as radiators. Although they are filled with oil, they are still powered by electricity. Electric current heats up the oil inside the heater to emit warmth through radiant heating.

A halogen heater is basically a type of infrared heater, but smaller in size compared to other infrared heaters. An infrared heater emits heat in the form of electromagnetic radiation. Halogens are a combination of nonmetallic elements which can heat up hotter than other heat conductors, on a lower level of energy. Halogen heaters heat faster, which further reduces energy consumption. This is because Halogen elements require a lesser amount of energy compared to other heat conductors like electric coils.

Rather than heating the air, as with convection from a fan heater, in radiant heating the infrared waves are absorbed by solid elements in the room, like your skin, pajamas, and bedding. These types of heaters offer an added benefit for those with sensitive skin. Convection heaters heat up the air in a room, drying out both the air and the skin of everyone in it.

Infrared heaters radiate infra-red light which strikes objects and heats them directly, heating the intervening air less. Oil filled radiators, work by heating the air in the room by natural convection.

In a study in Malta, infrared heating panels were found to heat a room faster than an oil-filled electric resistance convection heater. The study also found that the walls of retain heat with infrared heating which allows them to remain dry, ensuring that mould has a 0% chance of spreading.

If you are heating a space which has ventilation, then a fan heater or radiator would be less useful than an infrared heater. Much of the heat you generate via convection will escape with the air in and out of the room.

Benefits of infrared heating :
Unlike convection heating, Infrared heating has clear health benefits for the human body. While convectional heaters produce the heat that warms up the air and surfaces, Infrared heaters heat objects and people directly. It creates a movement of the heat in the body through optimum blood circulation and this way produces a sense of deep warmth.

Furthermore, Infrared heating is beneficial for people with health conditions such as asthma or bronchial ailments. Its unique heating method does not create air currents that increase dust circulation in the room. It also prevents unwanted humidity that causes mould to grow.

Fresh air is also essential for a healthy living environment. However ventilation comes at the price, as it creates heat loss, especially if it is combined with convectional heating system. Opposite to traditional heaters, Infrared heating products heat the objects and people, while convectional heating works on much higher temperatures and relay on the hot air movement. It means that the heat loss becomes greater, as hot air travels out through the vents and opened windows. Meanwhile, Infrared heating does not create air currents and in this way significantly reduces heat loss.

Imagine dust free, non-humid home or work space. Infrared heating solutions can help you achieve your perfect, health-benefiting environment.

User testimony
The experience of this netizen with infrared heaters is useful for situations when you need instant warmth like in a bathroom during very cold months. He also points to the great economy in using such heaters, and the fact that they can last decades :

From personal experience, I always feel warmer in front of a radiative heater, and they certainly produce less noise pollution than fan heaters, so are more pleasant to be around. Both are more controllable than oil filled radiators, so you get heat out of them sooner after you need it and waste little heat when you no longer need it.

I find infra-red heaters particularly useful in bathrooms. Heaters like the following are (or were) common in UK bathrooms:

The way to use a heater like this is on demand.

I don't normally heat my bathroom, but I turn on my bathroom IR wall heater before I get in the shower so it is up to full heat by the time I get out of the shower. The infra-red heat keeps me nice and warm in those those crucial moments between stopping the hot water flow and towelling off the rapidly cooling water. I then turn off the heater as I leave the bathroom, having wasted little electricity unnecessarily heating it.

I have never understood why people replace IR wall heaters in bathrooms with fan heaters. I find that they can never warm up the air in the bathroom enough during the time you are showering that you don't feel cold during the towelling. I know that IR heaters are seen as old technology, but they work very well, are as 'efficient' as every other electric heater and are far more reliable than fan heaters. I have never had a fan heater last for more than a decade, but the IR heater in my bathroom has been working for over four.

Improve your sleep quality - Turn the heater off
Keeping the space heater on all night is not good for the quality of your sleep. For restful sleep, our bodies actually require the temperature to be cooler. A decrease in temperature at night signals to our brain that it's time to sleep, while our brain perceives heat as a time for energy and alertness (like when your body heats up from exercise).

Turn your space heater on before bed, and it can warm your room up enough for you to fall asleep comfortably. As the hot air dissipates, the resulting coolness will help your body stay asleep.

Anjana Mehta is an urban development professional who has worked with the Government of India and various state governments on improvement of civic services such as sewage systems, water supply and waste management. She now devotes her time to public service and is currently focusing on informing residents, industries and schools on the implications of global warming for India and the world. Let us know if you have any specific queries of the writer or suggestions that we could share with everyone and we would love to incorporate them.

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