Heat can be transferred from a warmer place to a cooler by conduction, convection and radiation. While conduction plays hardly a role when it comes to domestic heating sadly convection is the standard. Sadly, because radiant heat is the most natural and healthy way of heating and should be the standard following the opinion of building biologists.
Convection heating feels like a hair dryer blowing hot air continuously against your skin. It dries the air out and moves the air a lot. It is called convection currents or simply drafts. Moving a lot of air also means moving a lot of dust which again dries the air out even more and can lead to stronger effects of existing allergies. Together with other physical reactions and facts like:
- warm air always rises, so first you heat the space above your head before you start feeling the heat
- as with convection the air is the material that stores the energy with every open door, window, chimney and even all the little gaps in older houses you lose energy very fast
- condensation on cold or cooler surfaces like walls and windows
and many more it can be said that convection as a distribution system for heating energy is not the healthiest nor the most natural nor the most economical.
Mark Twain says about radiant heating with a kachelofen instead of convection: “[…] there will be no headaches and no sense of closeness or oppression. [In rooms with convection heating] the neighbourhood of the register or the fireplace is warmest-the heat is not equally diffused through the room […] you are roasted half your time and frozen the other half.”