It is a universally accepted fact that fireplaces are hot, and that we get warm when we stand in front of them. This is just something that we all agree on, and so very few people actually question why we get warm when we are standing in front of a fireplace.
Of course, the obvious answer is that we get warm because the fireplace itself is burning, and because of this it is giving off a lot of heat. But there is a lot of science that can explain why we get warm standing in front of a fireplace, and in this guide we are going to explore this science.
So, if you want to find out more about why you get warm when you stand in front of a fireplace, then keep on reading.
What is the point of a Fireplace?
This might seem like a very obvious question, as the main purpose of a fireplace is to warm the area that it is in. Traditionally, fireplaces would be the area where an actual fire would be started, and everyone in the home would gather around the fireplace to get heat.
But, as technology has advanced, and central heating has begun to become commonplace in most houses, the point of a fireplace has changed. Now, fireplaces are often installed in homes to create ambiance, and be a focal point in a room. But, their main purpose remains the same, and it is because of this purpose that we get warm when standing in front of a fireplace.
However, this still doesn’t explain the science behind why we get warm when standing in front of a fireplace. So, let’s take a look at the reasons behind this.
Why do you get Warm Standing in front of a Fireplace?: The Science
The science behind why we get warm when standing in front of a fireplace works in 3 steps. However, it isn’t just these steps that will influence how warm you get when standing in front of a fireplace.
This is because the way that you sit, or whether you are standing, will impact how warm that you get. As we have said, we get warmer when standing in front of a fireplace, so let’s take a look at why.
Step One: Radiation
When a fire is burning fiercely, then it is giving off something known as radiation. A lot of people connect the word ‘radiation’ with radioactivity, and toxic materials, but in this case, the fire is just radiating heat.
Radiation is let off of the fireplace in the form of energy waves. Due to the design of a fireplace and the shape of it, radiation is given off in all directions, emitting heat upward, outward, and off to the sides.
This radiation gives off heat in all of these directions, which is why we first feel warm when standing in front of a fireplace.
Step Two: Convention
The next step in the science behind fireplaces is convention. Once the fireplace is burning and has given off radiation, the convention then begins. Convention is the process of radiation being transferred.
All types of energy are transferred through different mediums. With fireplaces, the radiation that comes off of the fireplace is then converted into heat as it spreads throughout the house.
This heat is then converted into air, which is why a fireplace is able to heat up the entire room, and then the house. Heat rises through the air, which is why we become warmer when standing in front of a fireplace, than when sitting in front of it.
Step Three: Conduction
The final step that causes us to become warm when standing in front of the fireplace is conduction. This occurs when the heat given off of the fire comes into contact with the human body, and they interact with one another.
The science behind conduction dictates that heat will move in one direction, and that hot will move toward cold. As the fire is burning at an incredibly high temperature, your body is always going to be colder than the fireplace. So, the heat will move towards your body directly.
When you are standing up, more areas of your body will be exposed, than if you were sitting down. So, all the cold areas of your body will be targeted by the heat, causing you to become warmer. This is why you should stand in front of the fireplace if you want to warm up.
Why do we feel hot when standing in front of a Fire?
The science behind why we get warm when standing in front of a fireplace is clear, but as we have said, there are some other things that influence how warm you feel.
One of the most notable facts that influence why we feel so warm when standing in front of a burning fire is the fact that heat rises. So, if you sit in front of a fire, then you will feel the heat when it first comes off of the fire, and then it will rise and move away from you.
But, if you are standing up, you will feel the heat from your feet all the way up your body as it rises. So, this is another reason why we feel so hot when standing in front of a fire.
In the modern day, there are lots of different types of fireplace that exist. These include gas and electric fires, as well as the traditional log burning fire that was once so popular. With all of these types of fire, the same process applies. So, we feel hot when standing in front of a fireplace because of radiation, convention, and conduction.
In short, this has been a handy guide to answer the question ‘why do we get warm standing in front of a fireplace?’. So, if you want to find out the scientific reasoning behind this, then check out this guide to find out more.