Radiant heating—modern by American standards — has been warming Korean homes for more than 2000 years, according to L. G. Nonini, of Wallace, Idaho, who worked in Korea for some time. The home builder first digs ditches along the site of his new home. Over the ditches he lays thin slabs of stone, and over the stone he smooths a layer of mud. The mud is covered with heavy oiled paper. The ditches are connected to a firebox on one side of the home. Smoke and hot gases pass through the ditches, warming the floor which radiates heat throughout the home. A chimney from 10 to 20 feet high provides sufficient draft to draw heat through the ditches.

  1. Blurgle says: July 15, 20089:03 am

    Almost identical to the Roman method of heating.

  2. Eliyahu says: July 16, 20082:12 pm

    It’s surprising how many things were invented by the Koreans long before we Europeans thought of them. For instance, Korean printers were using cast metal movable type in the year 1230, long before Gutenberg even thought of it.

    I wonder if Frank Lloyd Wright was familiar with this heating technique when he introduced it in the US as “gravity heating”?

  3. Torgo says: July 16, 20086:03 pm

    I had no idea the term “Radient Heating” goes back to 1949. I never head it until the ’80s.

    And it’s interesting, as Blurgle pointed out, how similar this method is to the Roman hypocaust.

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