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Very edifying stuff. Have you seen the similar ideas for low-tech directed heating from Paul Wheaton?


Rafael Carrascosa


I love your magazine, keep up the good work!

Etienne Bayenet



Once again a very good article.

Here are some ideas of quick wins for thermal comfort in offices.
- reduce the water temperature in the radiator. A lower temperature will mean more radiation with longer wavelength and less convection. With a lower temperature, the radiator will also heat more hours, which means that radiation will be more often available. It is very important to find out what is the lower water temperature that is needed for thermal comfort. Even traditionnal radiators do radiations and with 35°C water, this can bring comfort without really changing the temperature of the room (for example near a wall of windows in a restaurant). You also reduce the thermal assymetry.
- never choose a building where windows can not been opened. I have seen buildings where air conditionning has to be turned on with only 10°C outside because people and computer where just heating too much.
- I have done bad experience with cooling ceiling. The biggest problem is the noise. To insure a good heat transfert, used material have bad noise reduction efficiency.
- Do not try to reach a specific temperature all the time. I have the feeling that it is nice to have a higher temperature in the afternoon when you are tired and that cooler in the morning is also nice. Inside temperature can also be lower in January than in April because people are more dressed (people complain more about 24°C in the IT room in January than in July).
- Reducing heat source (sun, coffee machine running all day...) will not only reduce air conditionning costs, but also increase general comfort.
- same comment about air conditionning than about heating, try to have a constant low cold supply instead of a powerful cold source that starts and stop all the time. Furthermore, machine are built to work, not to stop and go.

Best regards,

Etienne Bayenet



I'm of the old school. Merino thermals and socks, beanie, gloves, and perhaps pull out the sleeping bag. In fact, that's my predicament as I type this.



I read the article to glean more truth about "Far Infra-Red Electric Heating".

This is supposed to heat the objects in the desired space, not the air (we learn is convected heating).

Now, I ask, how do we measure the comfort if the temperature of air within that space, is not being taken into account? Here we continue with efficiency and energy savings within the article and I quote.....
Energy Savings
For every 1ºC (1.8ºF) that the thermostat is lowered, 7-10% of heating energy can be saved. [4] If the temperature in the space is lowered from 21 to 16ºC (70 to 61ºF), the energy savings can be as high as 35-50%."

A thermostat measures air temperature.
Saving energy is what old age pensioners have to do.
Many recommend temperatures are between 18 - 21ºC MINIMUM for children, those who are infirm or sick and elderly people.

The article is very informative and well thought through, but misses out on mentioning the caveat that increasing cost savings by switching down the heating can be life threatening.





your link to "Keeping Warm in a Cool House" (PDF) seems to be dead.

A quick search on the page I got directed to pointed me to:


that's maybe a more permanent link...

btw, thanks for this nice article!

cheers max



I want to point out a nice local heating cheap device: reptile ceramic heat lamps. You can get up to 250W for 10€.

You can use them with a common 300W light dimmer to regulate (250W is a lot of heat, if close), and mount it on any simple ceramic bulb holder.

Ideal cheap far-infrared to heat under office desk, for example.

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