Utility Bills! We think about them once a month... when the bill comes.
We write the check throw it in the mail and and scratch our head thinking
"Where does it end?".
Today, we know more about home insulation and how to save energy than ever before. When it comes to our homes, the more energy efficient we make them, the lower the monthly utility bills are going to be. Homes that are constructed to the latest energy codes using the newest home insulation products, energy-efficient appliances, windows, doors, lighting and heating/air conditioning equipment will be more energy efficient.
Yet one of the single most important and cost-effective energy-saving building materials in a home goes unseen, and all too often, under appreciated the insulation. Without adequate insulation, many of the other energy-efficient components found in a home won't perform as intended.
Whether building, remodeling or buying a home, the home insulation tips that follow will help you save on heating and cooling bills and create a more comfortable home all year round.
What does insulation really do?
Insulation resists the flow of heat. Heat is a form of energy - it always travels from hot to cold - flowing outward in winter and inward in summer. By reducing heat flow, a properly insulated home uses less energy in winter for heating and less in the summer for cooling.
Insulation is also an excellent sound absorber as well as an energy saver. When installed in the walls and ceilings, it can reduce the transmission of sound. Sound transmission is noise that travels from room to room - or from home to home - or from appliances such as washers, dryers, heating and air conditioning systems, phones, radios and TV's.
How does it work?:
In order to understand how insulation works, it is important to understand the concept of heat flow or heat transfer. In general, heat always flows from warmer to cooler surfaces. This flow does not stop until the temperature in the two surfaces is equal.
Insulating materials reduce the rate of heat transfer by,
1. Conduction, The handle of a pot on the stove gets hot because the heat it transferred through the metal from the burner up to the handle, that is conductive heat transfer.
2. Convection,Steam, moisture. If you put your hand above a boiling pot, you will feel heat in the form of steam. This is convective heat transfer.
3. Radiation,Electromagnetic. Step outside on a sunny day and feel the sun's rays on your face. You are feeling radiant heat transfer.
Insulation Types:Mass Insulations:
Fibrous Insulation: Composed of air finely divided into interstices by small diameter fibers usually chemically or mechanically bonded and formed into boards, blankets, and hollow cylinders.
Examples are,Fiberglass or mineral fiber ,Refractory ceramic fiber .
Cellular Insulation: Composed of air or some other gas contained within a foam of stable small bubbles and formed into boards, blankets, or hollow cylinders. Examples,
Ceramic Beads, Cellular glass,Elastomeric foam ,Phenolic foam,Polystyrene ,Polyurethanes,Perlite, Vermiculite
Radiant barriers: A reflective insulation system that reflects radiant heat energy instead of trying to absorb it. Examples, Foil batts, aluminum paint.
Reflective Coatings: Insulating ceramics, much like the ceramics used on the space shuttle to protect it from heat, blended into paints for roofs,walls, anything that can be painted.
Next: lets go over "R" value, what it is, do you have enough and if not, what you can do about it.