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The Ways Other Countries Keep Their Homes Warm In Winter

If you’re traveling to a tropical paradise, you’re more concerned with air conditioning than heat, yet when visiting a colder climate, it is important to know that different countries have a variety of ways of keeping their homes warm, especially if you’re planning to rent an Airbnb or do a home exchange.

From stove-based heating in both Korea and Russia to the popular Scandinavian Hygge concept, the world fights the cold in numerous ways. To explore the ways different countries stay cozy, npower, one of Britain’s leading energy companies, has created an interactive tool found here that explains heating methods around the globe.

In Scandinavia, hygge, which translates from Danish as “to give comfort and joy,” has been adopted by most households. The trend, which is now being embraced around the world, consists of using pillows, blankets and candles used as decoration but also to create a sense of coziness. Also, Scandinavian homes feature cast iron AGA cookers, which are renowned for their longevity and heat-storing properties, as well as their rustic appeal.

In Korea, the traditional ondol heating method consists of creating underfloor warmth using direct heat from wood smoke. The technique dates back to 1000 BC and has inspired modern systems found in many homes today. The system features an agungi, a firebox that is placed outside and pushes heat into the home. In addition, the butu-mak above the firebox is used as a cooking area, and the ondol floor circulates smoke underneath the home, while heating slabs and stones help retain the warmth.

In the Russia, the pechka, which is similar to the AGA cooker, is a large masonry stove that has been used for centuries for cooking and domestic heating. It includes a brick and clay stove that absorbs heat quickly but cools slowly, and often only needs to be lit twice a day to warm the entire home. Meanwhile, the ovens often have two hearths, which are used for cooking and smoking, as well as staying warm in harsh winters.

In Japan, the kotatsu, situated in the living room, provides heat. The kotatsu, a low, wooden frame covered by a futon blanket and a table top, has a heat source below that circulates heat around the room. The heat source would traditionally be a charcoal brazier that was also used for cooking, but recently electric heaters have gained popularity.

In the UK, many households have a conventional boiler or combination boiler system where gas flows from a supply pipe to the burners inside the boiler which then powers the heat exchanger. The exchanger and boiler as a whole remains efficient through regular servicing. Also, a heating loop that travels through the home carries hot water, which passes through the radiators and then warms up the rooms they’re in.

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For more information on heating systems around the world, check out the npower tool here.

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