Insulation is one of the most misunderstood materials utilized in home construction. Most Atlanta area homeowners recognize that insulation equates to a more comfortable home during the winter months, but it’s just as important for keeping the home cool during the summer. To truly understand how insulation works, it’s important to learn the basics of heat flow and the ways in which it can occur—conduction, convection and radiation.
How Heat Moves
Let’s take a closer look at these three methodologies for heat flow, all of which can heavily impact the functionality of home insulation.
The process of conduction refers to how heat moves through solid materials and is very prevalent in home performance.
Consider what occurs when you pull a pan out of a hot oven. Your oven mitts get hot almost instantly, which is a result of conduction. In your home, insulation acts not unlike the oven mitts, absorbing heat and thus slowing its transfer to the other side.
Another common way that heat moves is via the process of convection. Convection allows heat to move through liquids and gasses (such as air). As hot air rises, cool air sinks—many heaters utilize convection as a way to push warm air throughout the home.
As with conduction, spray foam insulation and other insulation materials work to slow convective heat flow to ensure a comfortable living environment.
The third process of heat flow that’s important to understand is radiation. The radiation process refers to heat that travels in a straight line, heating solid materials that lay in its path.
For example, the sun heating your home’s roof on a hot summer day happens through radiant heat. Home insulation can help to reduce the acquisition of heat and is most effective when directed toward airflow.
The Importance of Thermal Resistance
Most homeowners will agree that they’d prefer to reduce their heating and cooling bills if at all possible, and doing so doesn’t have to be nearly as hard as you might think. It all comes down to providing your home with proper levels of heat flow resistance, which keeps conditioned air from escaping, wanted air from entering and your HVAC equipment from having to work harder than it should.
The more thermal resistance your home’s insulation provides, the lower your heating and cooling costs will be and the more comfortable your living space becomes.
Beefing-up insulation throughout your home comes with a great deal of benefits. Ready to see them firsthand? Contact us today to learn more or to schedule an appointment.