410 IDEAL HOME LIFE
Heating the House
Not the least important question in the hygiene of the home is that of heating during the months when artificial heat must be afforded. In the kitchen the problem is present during all periods of the year, and is a most difficult one, the elevation of temperature in small and poorly ventilated rooms being often almost insufferable. If this excess of heat cannot be conducted to some point where it may be utilized, flues or draughts should be arranged whereby it may be conducted away. When one thinks of the enormous amount of force which is wasted by the present methods, one cannot help looking forward with great longing to the already nearly perfected methods of supplying heat in the kitchen by illuminating gas and electricity, whereby only so much heat will be used as is required to accomplish a certain amount of work. The increased comfort of those who have to work in the kitchen should in itself be a stimulus to find some method by which the excessive radiation of heat from cooking stoves may be avoided.
Various methods are in vogue for heating houses with hot air, steam,, hot water, illuminating (i.e., coal) gas, electricity, etc. The subject is one which is undergoing rapid evolution, and will result in a few years, in all probability, in the general use of electricity as a means of heating houses.
Each method has its advocates and its good features. The hot air furnace, if the hot air be suitably mixed with pure cold air, is one of the most approved means of heating, being in most cases cheaper than others, and open to few objections which are not remediable. Hot air obtained by steam and hot water plants is merely another way of obtaining heat by radiation. Many writers, especially those who write from the standpoint of personal interest, assert the superiority of these methods of heating to that of the hot air furnace; the latter continues to be used, however, by many who are not yet convinced of its inferiority. Heating by electricity may obviate the objections to other methods, and be the chosen one of the near future.