Practical Application Heat
Other Facts about Heat
We understand now the value of steam as a heating agent. Water is heated in a boiler in the cellar, and the steam passes through pipes which run to the various rooms; there the steam condenses into water in the radiators, each gram of steam setting free 536 calories of heat. When we consider the size of the radiators and the large number of grams of steam which they contain, and consider further that each gram in condensing sets free 536 calories, we understand the ease with which buildings are heated by steam.
Most of us have at times profited by the heat of condensation. In cold weather, when there is a roaring fire in the range, the water frequently becomes so hot that it "steams" out of open faucets. If, at such times, the hot water is turned on in a small cold bathroom, and is allowed to run until the tub is well filled, vapor condenses on windows, mirrors, and walls, and the cold room becomes perceptibly warmer. The heat given out by the condensing steam passes into the surrounding air and warms the room.
There is, however, another reason for the rise in temperature. If a large pail of hot soup is placed in a larger pail of cold water, the soup will gradually cool and the cold water will gradually become warmer. A red-hot iron placed on a stand gradually cools, but warms the stand. A hot body loses heat so long as a cooler body is near it; the cold object is heated at the expense of the warmer object, and one loses heat and the other gains heat until the temperature of both is the same. Now the hot water in the tub gradually loses heat and the cold air of the room gradually gains heat by convection, but the amount given the room by convection is relatively small compared with the large amount set free by the condensing steam.