If you visit several ancient castles or palaces, you cannot fail to notice that all of them were heated at one time with the help of fireplaces. But why exactly he? For example, one could use for the same purposes the good old stoves, which are well known to mankind from time immemorial. However, in practice, everything is far from being as smooth as it might seem.
Let's go with the trump cards and say "terrible": from the point of view of architecture, a fireplace is just a kind of stoves. Much more important is the fact that a huge number of misconceptions and myths have been formed around fireplaces. Most of them are somehow related to the fact that the fireplace does not provide heat. In reality, this is not the case. It's just that the fireplace works differently than the house stove, which is well known to the Russian person.
The first thing to know about fireplaces is that they warm the room mainly due to the so-called "radiation heating". This means that most of the heat is generated from the light escaping from the fireplace during the combustion process. It gradually heats up the air around it, as well as the surfaces of objects it falls on. In this respect, a fireplace is very much like a regular bonfire. So, you can safely use a fireplace to heat a small private house.
As for large palaces and castles, then the situation is much more complicated. The fact is that it is virtually impossible to warm up a huge room with thick stone walls. It doesn't matter what is used for this: stoves or fireplaces. The constant loss of heat, especially during the cold season, will be such that it will be necessary to burn an incredible amount of fuel. Even coal is unable to satisfy such a demand.
Therefore, they did not try to heat the walls in large castles and palaces. First of all, the air was warmed. This was important, among other things, so that the premises were free of dampness and mold. The walls and floors were heated in the second place, but this was done not with the help of ordinary fireplaces, but with the help of special systems made of water and metal panels. But even then this was done not to heat the wall itself, but to create an additional heat source capable of heating the air in the room. In addition, the huge halls were connected by a special ventilation system, which was needed so that warm air from the rooms with fireplaces passed into all the others.
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