In case of Shivering in the winter of Korea, we were invited into the House of a smiling, friendly residents. Eve of comfortable in our bodies warmed the room was freezing, even though it did not appear the presence of a heater or radiator. Fireplace mantel ideas after releasing the shoes at the entrance, we stepped onto the floor and feel the floor was warm. While sitting on the floor and put our hands on it, we feel our hands are frozen at start up.
In Korea, almost every House has floor heating like this. It’s called ondol. How does a home heating system unique? And, what is the impact on Korea way of life? Before answering that question, let’s look at the origins of the traditional type of ondol.
The Origin Of The Floor Heating
The origin of the underfloor heating dates back from before Jesus Christ came to Earth. According to archaeological discoveries and historical records, it could be that the ancient Romans were the first to use the heating system URlantai.* On the fourth or fifth century AD, the floor heating system is already popular in Korea Peninsula, and the system is then called ondol. The name is derived from the letters of the Mandarin word for “warm cavity”. The historical record of Chinese Books of Old Tang is talking about sleeping, she said, “in the winter, people [Korea] warmed themselves by making the cavity-long cavity and provide heat into it.”
The Workings Of The Traditional Type Of Ondol
According to tradition, ondol is the furnace heat source. This stove can be placed in the kitchen or on the outside wall of the living room. A kitchen with two or three furnaces can be heated by ondol rooms surrounded by the same amount. In an ancient Korea people’s kitchen, you can find one or two large iron Kettle at tungkunya. So, the fire used for cooking rice or soup is also used to heat room beside the kitchen! Efficient, isn’t it?
In General, the kitchen was built around one metre lower than the room that was heated. This difference makes it easy to smoke and hot air flow under the floor of the room which is elevated. The smoke to flow under the floor? Yes, that’s the secret of ondol.
Horizontal pipes line the path for heat and smoke — mounted under the floor of the room, connecting the stove and the chimney. The hot air from the heat that passes through the pipes and heats the floor stones and mud. This is not as easy as it sounds. Two conflicting needs must be met. In order to make its fuel burning, the smoke should quickly pass through the channel and up into the chimney without obstacles. The pipe straight and short is the best for that purpose.
However, to allow the heat from the fire warms the floor, the heat and smoke that must remain in the channel as long as possible. To that end, the pipes were made to cover the entire area under the floor, so that hot air does not come out too quickly through the chimney. When the smoke and hot air passes through the pipes with the proper speed, a room can stay warm throughout the night with the fire that is lit for approximately two hours.
Some people say that once there’s an ondol room — the age of hundred years — with outstanding heat efficiency. Thanks to the design of the structure of the pipe, the floor can remain hot during the 45 days with just one warm-up! Allegedly, the warmth can be felt over the next 100 days.
Unfortunately, rooms that were destroyed during the war of Korea in the early 1950s. In 1982, the engineers restore back the building, and the tourists can visit his sleeping room. Heat efficiency is not as good as the original. However, after one time of heating, the floor is warm for ten days in spring and autumn, and for three days in the winter, even when the temperature is minus 10 degrees Celsius.
Another secret of the ondol heating system is the design of the floor itself. Before the floor is installed, the hot air pipes for construction. The pipes were then lined with flat stones and thin as thick as an inch or two. Because the floor near the furnace usually warmer, the stones that thicker is used there to prevent heat loss. Later, yellow clays is placed on top of the stones, and the floors were leveled. Finally, several layers of yellow paper sheets glued together into the base.
In a room that was heated with traditional ondol, floor system on the other end of the room that tends to be cold. Therefore, elderly people, such as a grandparent or parent, and also guests are invited to sit in a warmer place. This is an expression of respect.
The traditional ondol rooms found in the northern part of the peninsula of Korea is slightly different to that in the South. In the North, a heated ondol rooms and the kitchen not separated by walls. Good heat from the furnace or ondol floor keep the room warmer. In the South, a wall separating the kitchen from the living room, preventing the smoke from annoy people who are sitting there.
Hereditary, Korea people use wood as fuel for furnaces of this type. So, before you turn on the ondol, they piled firewood to dry next to the furnace. Then, they use paper and straw to light the fire. Charcoal is also used as a fuel. However, in the 20th century, the people of Korea began using charcoal briquettes. Of course, it is very important that ondol rooms maintained well. If service-pipe cracked, carbon monoxide can seep went into the living room through the floor, which can be fatal.
The Modern Ondol
Right now, the traditional ondol heating system is rarely seen in the homes of the people of Korea. In contrast, modern homes, including apartments sleeping ondol multilantai, using the current version of hydronic radiant floor heating — (floor radiation heating system hidronik). This system using hot water instead of hot air to warm the floor. It’s interesting that the people of Korea is not that developed this system.
In the early 1900s, when the famous American architect Frank Lloyd Wright to build a hotel in Japan, he was invited to the home of the count of Japan. There, Wright found a room that is different from the typical room people Japan. The floor is warm and covered with yellow paper. This is the people’s Korea ondol rooms! The nobles of Japan has felt the ondol in Korea and could not forget it.
So, after returning to Japan he built the ondol rooms in her home. “The indescribable Comfort because it is heated from below” impress Wright. Then, he decided on the spot that the ondol is the ideal heating system and start using it in the buildings. Wright was designing radiant floor heating, using hot water flowing through pipes instead of hot air.
Radiant floor heating system is particularly suited to the lifestyle of the people Korea at that time. Once imported to Korea, a simplified system it became popular quickly. Nowadays, almost all of the people of Korea are using the system.
Ondol and Life-style
Ondol had enormous impact upon Korea’s lifestyle. One of them, because the floor is much warmer than the air in a room, people generally chose to sit in the warm floor than a seat cooler. As a result, the people of Korea to sit, eat, hang out, and slept on the floor.
To keep the floor warmer, they sometimes cover it with a thick sheets called ibul. While family members back home, they put their feet down icy sheets of it to enjoy the cosy warmth together — really the full experience of togetherness!
While Korea community lifestyle is becoming increasingly Western-style, the younger generation are often more like sitting in a Chair and slept in the bed. However, most people preferred the comfort of Korea ondol floor, which uses hot water floor heating system. If you visit Korea, you will certainly enjoy the heating system this unique home