A form of mass heating, convection heat is when heat moves along with the body of its substances. An example of convection heat would be when a warmer pocket of air transfers upwards, as the heat is being shifted by the motion of a complete body. Convection heating is commonplace in both natural events and in appliances.
Natural and Forced: Two Forms of Convection
There are two primary forms of convection: natural and forced. Natural convection is when the medium shifting the heat is being influenced to transfer the heat by itself. This happens because gases cause the medium to expand as it heats up, and the lightness of the gases causes the warmer fluids to transcend.
When the medium transferring the heat is moving by itself, that is called forced convection. An example would be when air is forced by a fan. In this specific occurrence, the heat is spread out by the movement of the air or fluid, but it is not really causing the actual movement. Forced convection can also be called heat advection.
The Most Common Example of Convection Heating
The most typical example of convection heat is the heated pot of water. When you place a pot of water on a heated stove, the stove warms up the water at the pot’s base. Eventually, the water begins to rise, and bubbles of hot water will wade through the cold water. This is the process of convection. The hot water pockets rise, and the cold water drops to the base of the pot to warm, which continues the cycle.
Convection Heating in the Atmosphere
Convection heat is what is responsible for constantly moving the air in the lower atmosphere. The air over water cools and heats slower than air over land. This creates a pressure difference that will shift larger bodies of air. The result? Warm air will rise from the land during the daytime and rise from the water at night. This creates weather cycles that are due to convection.
What About Climate Control Systems: Air Conditioning and Heaters?
Both convection and conduction are transferred by air conditioning systems. Heat is conducted when it is spread from the system’s heat exchanger fins into the air. Heat is convected when fans are used to blow air through a home. As a result, this will increase room temperature. When it carries its heat, the air moves as a complete body, deeming it a form of convection heating.
Convection heaters depend on the travel and natural expansion of hot air around it to shift heat around the location to be heated. Convection heaters are distinguished by their heating materials and physical design. Convection heaters utilize three primary substrates: steam, water, and electrical elements. The physical design sometimes mimics the source of the heater’s name. For example, the baseboard units have steam pipes running along pipes that follow the baseboard of the home. There is also the underfloor unit which is composed of a complex path of piping within the structure’s floors, to heat the air and every object that touches the floor such as carpet and furniture.
Convection heaters offer an easy way to heat a building or home. They have an enclosed design that ensures safe performance, and they allow for various heating substrates to be used inside it, so no interaction with the heating substance should happen. Convection heaters also have no fans that move an air current. This means that they run much more quietly.
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