The Science Of Home Bulk Insulation
How does Bulk Insulation in your home works? Well, you know the purpose of it for sure. Bulk Insulation and other types help us to maintain a constant temperature in our homes. But how? What is the science behind insulation? In this article, I am going to explain the science behind home-insulation.
OK, let’s go back to our school days. How does heat move from one place to another? Can you remember the three ways of heat transfer? No? I will explain then.
* Conduction: In schools, we do a simple experiment. Hold a piece of metal wire (4-5 inches long) into a flame (gas or fire) from one end. After sometimes, you will begin to feel the heat through the wire. Now, that is conduction. The way of heat transfer through solid materials. Bulk Insulation in your home slows down the conductive heat loss.
* Convection: We learned this theory in schools in details. It is the way heat circulates through gases and liquids. Cool air sinks, and hot air rises. Bulk Insulation can slow down the convective heat loss too.
* Radiation: It is the way of heat sources emit heat. The best example is the sun. The heat of the sun reaches the earth via radiation. Anyway, Bulk Insulation is not your best friend in this case. The best way to stop heat gain by radiation is – reflecting them back. And that is why you have to buy reflective insulation. In summary, all the insulation types help you to keep heat within your home.
Why is it that much difficult to keep the heat in one place? Heated molecules have more energy stored in them. You can’t destroy or create energy (only transform it.) So, the heated molecules give their energy to colder ones by one of the above heat transferring methods explained earlier (convection, conduction, and radiation.) Heated air molecules move from warmer place to a colder place and give their energy out. Bulk Insulation and other types act as barriers that slow down these processes. Well, we can’t stop it 100% though.
Why do more of the heat in your home is lost through the ceiling? As I said above, the heated air rises. So, heated air will escape through gaps and holes in the ceiling. More than 30% of the heat in your home can leak through the ceiling, and that is why you should get it insulated properly (heat loss via convection.) Also, the heat can leak through walls and the floor (heat loss via solid materials; conduction.) Bulk Insulation installed within walls and the flow slows down conductive heat loss by acting as an additional barrier.
Why does the heat can’t travel through insulation then? What is the science behind it? Insulating materials have air pockets in them. And these air trapped air pockets prevent air flow through insulating materials to a greater extent. The R-value is the determiner that determines the heat-resistant capacity of an insulating material. So, the higher the R-value, the more the resistant to heat flow. Manufacturers make Bulk Insulation with different R-values depending on the climate condition that you will use it for. So, if you are living in an extreme colder part of the world, then buy insulation with the highest R-value.