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Thermal Radiation

Thermal energy is emitted by objects into their surroundings.

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How Is Your Home Heated?

How Is Your Home Heated?

Credit: Gabriel Pollard
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/61181002@N00/8477121185
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Some homes are heated with hot water running through radiators, like the one in this picture. However, homes can be heated in several other ways. Do you know how your home is heated?

Why It Matters

  • Knowing how your home is heated is important. It can help you be aware of heating problems and safety issues. For example, if your home is heated by a furnace or boiler, it probably has a fuel supply line, such as a gas pipe, that provides it with fuel. 
  • Credit: butkaj.info
    Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/andybutkaj/408955986/
    License: CC BY-NC 3.0

    A boiler system for the home [Figure2]

     

  • Gas lines can be dangerous. They can cause fires and explosions if people are not careful around them.
  • Watch this video about common home heating systems to help you identify the type in your home:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYNo7n9TqvI

Can You Apply It?

At the link below, learn more about the type of heating system in your home. Then answer the questions that follow.

  1. Identify three common types of home heating systems. What type of system do you think heats your home?
  2. All heating systems work on the same basic principle. What is it?
  3. Four basic components are found in most heating systems. What are they, and what are their functions?
  4. Find each of the components from the previous question in your home’s heating system. Where are the components located?
  5. Explain how your home’s heating system generates and distributes heat throughout the home. Identify each point where heat is transferred in the system. What type of heat transfer is it: convection, conduction, or radiation?
  6. What are some pros and cons of the type of heating system in your home?

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Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: Gabriel Pollard; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/61181002@N00/8477121185; License: CC BY-NC 3.0
  2. [2]^ Credit: butkaj.info; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/andybutkaj/408955986/; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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