The heater is a device, without which in our climate there is no way. That the heating will turn on with a delay, then the frosts will hit the children's and will become cool in the apartment. In general, almost in every family he is, often not one. And around the heater – a swarm of myths and legends. Listen to them – just right to throw out this harmful and dangerous device as soon as possible – it's better to shiver from the cold. No, it's no better: we remembered the most persistent "heating" misconceptions and explain how things are in reality.
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The truth about burnt oxygen
Heaters (especially with a heating spiral) burn oxygen – this is perhaps the most popular horror story, which in the top for many years. And users did not invent it themselves – marketers are to blame. This they continue and continue to cultivate with the tenacity of the North Korean missile system. Below is a recent example – a screenshot from Facebook, from the page of one of the manufacturers.
Marketers are coming from the opposite, they say, the heater of our brand, unlike hypothetical others, oxygen does not burn. So, there are those that burn – potential customers think, without going into details. And they are mistaken – more than one heater does not do anything with oxygen, does not influence, does not work, its maintenance in the air and certainly does not burn.
Yes, oxygen is consumed in the process of burning a flame. But it is in the process of burning, and in the heater, if it is sound, nothing ever burns. So do not worry about the fate of oxygen – it's all right.
The legend about the combustion of oxygen heaters, most likely, appeared because in cheap models, in particular heat fans, heating elements (spirals, etc.) are heated to high temperatures – "red-hot", and household dust that falls on them, begins to burn – there is a slight smell of burnt paper. Oxygen, of course, with this burning consumed, but in such quantities that it is impossible to detect. In devices with heaters whose temperature is lower than the temperature at which the dust begins to burn (almost all modern ones), this does not happen.
The truth about dried air
All heaters dry air – this statement is hardly less popular than confidence in the unhappy fate of oxygen, which is unlucky to be on the same planet as the heaters. But here everything is a bit more complicated. It arose because of the confusion in terms. Saying "the heater dries the air", it means that its relative humidity decreases. And indeed it is. However, the absolute humidity of air remains unchanged. The expert explains.
Dmitry Mamontov, scientific editor of the Polytechnic Museum:
The absolute humidity (the water content in grams per cubic meter of air) does not change when the air is heated. The relative humidity measured in percent (the ratio of the real water content to the maximum possible at this temperature) is lowered. The person is mainly sensitive to relative humidity, since it is precisely it that is important for our temperature regulation, in particular, the evaporation of sweat is highly dependent on the relative humidity.
And what in the end? Heaters, as well as air conditioners in heating mode, "dry" the air, reducing the relative humidity, but not absolute – moisture in the air does not become less. But when the temperature is below the dew point, some of the moisture condenses, so air conditioners in cooling mode tend to dry (without the quotes) air, reducing the absolute content of moisture in it.
The dew point is the temperature at which the vapor in the air reaches state of saturation and condenses into moisture (dew).
In general, two concepts should be divided – the relative and absolute humidity of the air. The statement "heaters dry air" makes sense only when understanding the difference between them.
The heater at work reduces the relative humidity of the air, while the absolute remains unchanged
The truth about the "rays of life"
Recall how infrared (IR ) heaters. Infrared radiation, like the sun, does not warm the air, but surrounding objects: floor, furniture, walls, even, within reasonable limits, people with animals. And already from them the air warms up.
To make you buy IR heaters better and better, marketers have come up with a concept such as "the rays of life". Like, there are IR heaters with a wavelength of 9.6 microns, which is supposedly cool and correct, because it coincides with the frequency of the person's own thermal radiation. Hence, such external radiation is intensively absorbed by the body, it penetrates deeper than radiation with a different wavelength. The effect, sort of like, more effective.
Infrared heater does not have any miraculous properties, does not emit "magic rays of life"
But this is, to put it mildly, an exaggeration. Physics does not know the laws that would prove that the energy emitted by one source, somehow penetrates deeply into objects, if the wavelength of their radiation is the same as those of these objects or organisms. And that in this case a person somehow warms up faster, better perceiving "the same as his" thermal radiation.
Energy, as is known, can be transmitted (spontaneously) only from a warmer body to a less heated body – this is the second beginning thermodynamics. The maximum absorption of infrared radiation by the human body occurs in the range 0.7 – 1.4 μm (water, from which 60-70% of our organism consists, just the best is radiation with a wavelength of 1.4 μm). And all that marketers call the "rays of life" (9.6 microns), heats only the upper layers of the skin.
Dmitry Mamontov, scientific editor of the Polytechnic Museum:
The wavelength is directly related to the temperature of the radiator (this is based on the work of the thermal imager ). The maximum wavelength of 9.6 microns corresponds to the temperature of the human body. It's not much use from a heater with such a temperature.
The truth about the efficiency of heaters
Often in advertisements you can find the phrase that "the efficiency of this heater is close to 100". This is not a lie – indeed, the overwhelming majority of heaters used in everyday life work with very high efficiency – how much energy is consumed, and so many will turn into heat.
Energy losses during operation of most modern heaters are minimal
Yes, when a heater with a closed heating circuit operates, electromagnetic radiation occurs. It consumes part of the energy consumed from the grid, but these losses are so small that they can be neglected. In general, the point is that it is very difficult to find a working heater, the efficiency of which will be significantly below 100%. The high efficiency of most heaters is a given, and not the achievement of individual producers.
The Truth About Power and Square Meters
Many modern heaters have a choice of power level. It would seem that there is something wrong here. I wanted – I chose the maximum: the heating will be more intensive, the room will warm up more quickly. Or use less power. However, in many models of heaters the power with which they work is constant.
By turning the thermostat knob, only the ratio of the time of operation of the device and its "rest" is regulated – the heater works as discretely (turns on and off), such as a microwave oven or refrigerator (non-inverted). This should be understood and monitored for the correlation of the power supply capabilities with the maximum power of the heating device.
The power of the heater, as a rule, is always the same, and many factors need to be taken into account when calculating the area served
There are, however, heaters with several heating circuits, and they are switched on separately. That is, not only the thermostat and the timer, namely the separately operating heating elements – in this case it is really possible to talk about the adjustment of the power of the device.
In the characteristics of any heater, information on the maximum area of the room must be found, for which it is designed. For example, 15 or 20 m². This, of course, also greetings from marketers. Characteristics invented, so that customers do not suffer with watts and kilowatts.
The reference point is 100 W per 1 m ². But, alas, with such averaged approach, the type of heating element is not taken into account, the features of the room (heat loss in it), as well as the temperature outside the window – all these factors affect the work of the heater and the heating efficiency of the room in different degrees.
The plot in the program "Miracle of technology"
See also the release of the "Miracle of Technology" program, in which we test various heaters and debunk myths about them.
We thank the scientific editor of the Moscow Polytechnical Museum, Dmitry Mamontov, for considerable assistance in preparing of the material.