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Public Health Issue of Excessive Indoor Heating Use

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Health
Wordcount: 1854 words Published: 8th Feb 2020

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The indoor air quality greatly influences the health of the dwellers. In countries like Canada and America, where maximum months of the year are colder, there is a constant requirement of indoor heating system for the survival of people.  Traditionally, woods were the only source of heating in past years which is eventually replaced into use of various techniques of heating like facade insulation, insulation of windows as well as double glazing. Conversely , there are many other modes of heating indoor air by radiant heaters, fan heater and many more depends upon electricity and gas which ultimately results in high electricity bills and many health hazards. In the year of 2004, WHO explains the eight specific problems of excessive use of heating in indoor environment. These are as follows:-

  1. Erythema and dryness of mucus membrane.
  2. Mental fatigue, headaches.
  3. Airway infections, cough.
  4. Hoarseness of voice, wheezing
  5. Unspecified hypersensitivity reactions
  6. Nausea, dizziness
  7. Dehydration and heat exhaustion
  8. Sometime thermoregulatory failure’

Normal range of heat inside the house- 16 C to 22 C


  1. Facade insulation- It looks like a layer of protection from climatic changes like raining, snow and fluctuations in outdoor temperature, it is made up of mineral wool, foam and plaster.
  2. Insulating glazing- It is a form of insulator consists of two or three panes which is separated by a gas filled space or vacuum which works as an envelope against the air


Several attempts had been taken to know the causes of increased usage of heating. The temperature of outdoor air, velocity of the wind and intensity of solar radiations also plays a significant role in consumption of indoor heating (A.M. Shklover, mid 21 century). The main contributing factors for increased level of heating is as following

  1. Construction: – Regarding the time period of construction of a house, older buildings need more heat to protect the householders from the negative impact of cold weather. They need more energy as compare to the newer constructed buildings. The main reason is the difference between the infrastructures, furthermore the material was used in those building were less insulating in comparison with the newer designed building like Positive energy houses, use of insulating glazing and so on.
  2. Socio- economic differences: – It had been proven that more heating facilities and luxury facilities are greatly used by the people living a higher standard of living. Conversely, poorer pay more attention to switch off their heating system when it is of no use, to save their bucks.
  3. Differences in heating requirement:- Older population especially above 60 years of age require more heat to make themselves warm. Moreover, children up to the age group, called toddler, has the same body requirement as their thermoregulatory system was not developed at that time.

       4. Other contributing factors:- There were hundreds or thousands contributing factors                      which alter the heating requirement to make it warm like

A. Household size

B. Number of people living in the house.

D. Type of house- apartment, sharing and so on.

E. Time spent at home.

F. Age group of personnel

G .Material used in construction

H. Socio-economic status



Global researcher evidenced that the buildings are the prime cause of emitting carbon dioxide which participate lion’s share of pollution after industrial release (Levine et al, 2007). They also pointed out that 30-50 % of emission could be reduced by readily available techniques, designs and structures, equipments, management system and alternative generation system (UNEP Sustainable buildings and construction initiative, 2009). On the other hand, education and motivation to general population would results in more saving and balancing environment.


For new construction:-

  1. Low energy houses:- These are the buildings efficiently designed to tackle the problem of energy consumption and minimal effects on the lifestyle of population through active and passive solar energy. It works on two principles- energy efficient measures (EEM) and renewable energy technologies (RET). To meet the needs of energy in buildings.
  2. Zero Energy houses:-In countries like America and Canada, the concept of zero energy buildings became highly popular in the year of 2012. It oppose the traditional method of construction by replacing the techniques and resulted into dramatically declination in energy consumption in respective countries (NAHB research centre, 2006). These buildings are based on high efficiency equipment ( heat pump instead of traditional furnace ) which added insulation by high efficient doors and windows, household  appliances, passive gain from solar energy during winter period as the construction of buildings vary with the climatic zones of different regions.

For previously constructed houses:-

  1. Controlling the heating system:-There are certain steps which everyone should take to control the indoor heating level. Initially, a householder should understand the responsibility to monitor the temperature of indoor air. Human body plays a major role in identifying the dangers around us by assessing the problems. For instance, when entering the house, increased household temperature prompted to turn off the heating system .
  2. Ventilation:-It is the most favourable technique used by one-third population to open the doors and windows to get rid of humidity and excessive temperature that we assessed to get rid of. This increased temperature might be continuous working of heating system whether the person is at home or not. Opening windows allows the fresh air to replace the existing sick air.
  3. Limit the usage of woods for heating:- Everyone knows the burning coal is the most significant approach used by dwellers to tackle the problems of colder temperature . On contrary, there are several adverse effects of burning due to carben dioxide and monoxide emissions .Later on; there are certain death reports also come across. So adequate education regarding the occurrence of such risks must be provided.
  4. Power monitoring: – Power monitors are available in every place to monitor the consumption of energy. It proves a rough estimation about the amount of energy expenditures. In addition, there are specified alarms available that determine the amount of heat available inside the house. It works similarly to a smoke alarm by producing a sound when the excessive range of heat monitored. This alarm should be placed at the centre of house or apartment or the area which is occupied most of the time like lobby and sleeping rooms.


  1. Increased suffocation
  2. Altered state of mind
  3. Heart failure due to mixing of CO with the blood cells
  4. Sometime lead to serious issues if proper attention is not paid’

Public health inspectors plays an incredible role in protecting and saving the life of people by timely visits, guidance, counselling and most importantly educating with the right guidelines of housing conditions.


This presentation helps to identify the indoor heating system along with the reasons of inclination in heating level, factors that contribute in raising the environment that is adverse for the lifestyle and of course the measures and points that helps to prevent the risk factors like dyspnoea and altered state of consciousness. During this presentation, we have also emphasized the relationship between the effects of excessive heating on health as well as the environment and energy consumption. Indoor heating is important especially for children and older categories to make them warm. However, the normal level of heat is a great advantage of modern era but it still works as a curse if not controlled properly by resulting into may hazardous illness. The federal and provincial governments do regular monitoring and testing for provision of healthy indoor air. Certainly, lifelong awareness and recommended testing would promote healthy life which is more enjoyful.



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