Thursday, December 4, 2014

Heating Systems in the US and Korea

BLOG POST 1: What are
the major heating systems in
USA and in Korea? What
are the differences
between them?

                    The major heating system in the US is most often a direct heat source that convects, and sometimes radiates, heat into the air. The heat then rises throughout the space, and the cold air left moves to the lower half of the room. In Korea, however, the major heating system is an under-floor heating system. This system heats the floor of the house, but it also mildly heats the space above the floor. Essentially, the two heating systems are entirely different. The heat sources in each of these heating systems are coming from opposite directions. The American way of heating convects heat, unless a radiator is being used, then it both radiates and convects the heat. With some research, I have determined that the Korean under-floor heating surely radiates heat, since you can feel the direct heat. Most importantly, these heating systems have molded each culture differently. With the old practice of under-floor heating system, the Korean people are known to often remain near the floor. For example, they eat dinner and simply hangout on the floor. Even with different forms of heating in Korea today, Koreans still gravitate towards the floor out of cultural habit. Americans, however, don't gravitate towards the floor, since the air towards the floor is colder than the air at standing level. When looking at a typical Korean home versus an American home, it’s interesting that traditional American homes tend to be more than one story, while traditional Korean homes are usually one level. Is this because of the way the heat flows in each culture’s homes? Surely it’s a contributing factor, and has even molded each culture in its own way. It was extraordinary to learn how something as simple as a heating system can affect an entire culture.

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