Sensible Latent Heat

Sensible latent are two kinds of heat, depending on the type of work that the heat energy does. Here are two heating tips.

Sensible Heat

Sensible heat is the heat which changes the temperature of a substance without changing the form. We add or remove sensible heat when we heat and cooling air.

Latent Heat

Latent heat changes the form of a substance without changing the temperature, as when heat changes solid to a liquid or transforms water into steam. In heating we are primarily concerned with sensible heat.

Heat can be transferred from one material to another by three main methods always from a higher temperature to a lower temperature. They are conduction, radiation and convection.


Is the transfer of heat through a substance from a higher temperature area to a lower temperature area. An example of conduction is heat transfer along an iron rod from the heat to the outer end. The heat travels along the rod from the heat to the outer ends. Conduction can also be a means of heating. This happens when one material is heated and that heat is transferred by direct contact with another material.


Is the transfer of heat through the air from one substance without substantially raising the temperature of the air. This heating tip may be experienced when the sun raises the temperature of the air, and the air surrounding the roof is much cooler.


Is the transfer of heat by the movement of air or liquid. In a forced air furnace air is warmed as it passes over the furnace combustion chamber and is carried by convection to the rooms of a house.

Measuring Heat

Heat is measured by BTUs or British Thermal Units. This measurement indicates the amount or quantity of heat in relation to the energy needed to produce the heat. One BTU is the amount of heat required to raise one pound of water one degree fahrenheit. This equals the amount of heat needed to raise about 55 cubic feet of air one degree fahrenheit.

This is short explanation of sensible latent heat.

Air balance

Return from sensible latent to homepage

Hard copy and E book for sale. Introduction to Building Mechanical Systems. Click here.

Hard copy and E book for sale. What's Killing You and What You Can Do About It. A humourous look at ageing and disease. Click here.