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Understanding Heat: Convection

Understanding Heat: Convection

Heat; it’s our livelihood and a constant problem to solve for HVAC professionals everywhere. How do I heat my home in the best and most efficient way? How do I get heat to stay inside a home where a system can only produce it so quickly?

Well, heat is essentially movement. That is, heat ‘happens’ when thermal energy moves from one material to another. The transfer can go across the boundaries set by chemistry and the states of matter. And if heating something changes it’s state, scientists say it’s measured by the net difference between temperatures in the first and second states of a heated object or piece of matter.

In the context of our work, we equate ‘heat’ to good-old thermal energy transferred by causes like airflow and direct flame. Those who work with heat as regularly as we do in the HVAC business are generally considered as knowledgeable, though often not ‘expert’, in heat transfer and the practical applications of various thermal engineering concepts in our homes and those of the families we serve.

The basics of heat transfer are as follows; there’s advection, convection, conduction and radiation. These are all ways in which heat can move from one thing to the next. Ring a bell for any of you former science buffs?

Advection essentially has to do with transferring heat between fluids, and it all comes down to the fluid’s motion. For example, if you see someone pouring coffee from one cup into another to cool it down enough to drink, they’re practicing and applying an advection heat transfer concept.

Heat transfer between solids is referred to as conduction. This essentially has to do with heat from one object transferring to another upon touch, much like your typing fingers against a keyboard for multiple hours. The heat sensations you may experience while vigorously typing is a great sample of what conduction could be.

Convection is when an object emits heat to its surroundings based on its motion. When humans exercise, they produce internal heat that’s then emitted to their environments. This is convection at work. And finally, radiation is, of course, heating something up using electromagnetic radiation.

At JM Heating & Cooling, we’re constantly looking to learn more about upcoming technologies, opportunities, or important notices that may help us efficiently heat your home or add to our experience with concepts like heat transfer in a practical setting. Our employees are specially trained to listen, recommend, and perform high quality maintenance for you and your family when it comes to our services.


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