What Does Insulation Actually Do?

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Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
It's supposed to save you energy cost by reducing heat or trapping heat. My husband is planning to paint our home with it. He already bought some at Add4Green.com and he'll use them this weekend.
Steve Theunissen Profile
Simply stated, it slows down the movement of heat. Heat is like a river in that it always flows in one direction—from warm surfaces to cooler ones. Hence, heat will flow out of a house in cold weather and into it when temperatures soar. This flow takes place in three ways: by conduction, by convection and by radiation. Conducted heat travels through solids such as bricks and concrete, while convected heat is transmitted in fluids. Thus a wooden-frame house with air space in the walls, or one that is not insulated, will lose heat by convection, since air acts like a fluid. Radiant heat travels through space (as in the instance of the sun) and heats the object it strikes (as in the case of the earth).

Experimentation indicates that air is a poor conductor of heat. Therefore, what insulation accomplishes is this: It makes tiny traps or pockets of still air, and these slow down heat transfer. Also, insulation material itself is a poor conductor.

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