We start off with the escalating prices of energy bills. And since a lot of houses have 70-80% appliances which require electricity to function, it is indeed a point of concern. So, it is natural to think about smart ways of going about your daily life, while maintaining our current lifestyle. Studies suggest that heating and cooling account for 60-70% of the energy used in an average American home.
If you want to substantially reduce energy costs, decreasing the amount of energy needed for heating and cooling your home would be a good place to start. You might be wondering; how can I reduce my energy consumption? The answer is pretty simple, Insulation or Structurally Insulated Panels. In a nutshell, reducing air leakage, and properly insulating your home will go a long way in lowering the cost of energy bills. To address this topic properly, it is necessary to derivate the topic’s concepts according to some of the most common concerns of consumers.
A : First up, what is Insulation?
To put it simply, as we know that heat always flows from warmer to cooler surfaces until the temperatures of both surfaces become equal. The concept of thermal Insulation in both SIP panels and Insulation reduces this flow of heat.
B : Next up, Why Insulate?
The bottom line is the issue of retaining the heat produced in your home: in winters, the air surrounding your home, the soil or the rock on which it stands are always at a much lower temperature than the building so, no matter how much heat you generate, it is eventually going to lose that heat. The answer in these situations is more often, creating a R-Control buffer between the house and the cold outdoors. As mentioned earlier, heat always travels from warm side to the colder side and this is the basic idea behind the insulation.
C : Third on the list, what are the benefits of insulation?
Sometimes it is better to explain things in a finer detail than to just give a brief description. Insulating your home provides several benefits beyond comfort. A properly insulated home provides:
1: Lower Energy Bills
Insulation keeps your home warmer and cooler in winter and summer, which helps in lowering energy costs to maintain optimal temperature in the house.
2: Sound Control
Insulation acts as a buffer to absorb unwanted noise from appliances, audio equipment, conversations and influences from outside sources transmitted through your walls and floors.
3: Moisture Control
Everyday activities such as cooking, cleaning and washing contributes in adding moisture to the air in your home in form of a vapor. And this vapor can become trapped inside walls, resulting in the growth of mold and mildew, which could end up damaging home furniture or goods.
D : Fourth on the list, how does heat escape from my house?
As mentioned earlier, heat flows from warmer to cooler side, until both surfaces have similar temperatures. But to understand this conundrum in more detail, it helps to know a little bit about the science of heat. As many of you know that heat travels in three ways by processes called conduction, convection and radiation.
Let’s consider the example of steaming hot chocolate cup. A fundamental law of physics called the second law of thermodynamics says it’s never going to stay that way; pretty soon, it will be a cold cup of chocolate. In these circumstances, what can you do to delay the inevitable? Somehow, you need to figure out a way to stop heat escape by conduction, convection and radiation.
As a remedy to this situation, the first thing you can do is put a lid on top of the cup to prevent hot air rising above the cup, you’ll be cutting down heat losses by convection. However, some heat is going to escape from the bottom of the hot cup into the cold table, where it’s been placed. What if you could surround the cup with an additional layer of air? So, maybe having an additional cup outside the first, with an air gap in between would remedy the heat escaping by the process of convection.
So, conduction and convection are ticked off, what about the radiation? If you were to wrap an aluminium foil around the outer cup, most of the infrared radiation the cup gives out will be reflected back inside. Apply all three of these solutions-a lid, an air container and a metallic coating- and what you have is a vacuum flask.
Unfortunately, we can’t build our houses exactly like a vacuum flask. We have to use air to breathe, so a vacuum is a big no-no. And then windows are an essential part of house-elevation and a source of natural light, so living in a sealed house with metal lining isn’t practical either. But the basic principles of cutting down heat losses from conduction, convection and radiation still applies to a Structurally Insulated Panel and the concept of insulation. So, it is imperative to consider every option and know every tiny little detail, while you decide to get your house insulated.
If you want to improve your insulation, you need to take a very systematic approach; consider every possible way cold air can gain access in your home. You have to work your way around the whole building, looking at each wall, windows, doors, roofs, walls and other potential sources of heat loss. Is your home suitable for PID Panels or cavity wall insulation? Have you worked out likely pay-checks or potential savings? Have you considered how much energy are you wasting through those old sash windows? And what are the main facilitators of heat escape from your house in first place?
E : Fifth on the list, how does heat escape from your house?
As we have established that heat travels in three different processes called conduction, convection and radiation. Knowing about the fundamentals of these three concepts it is easy to see lots of ways in which your warm house is leaking heat to the freezing cold all around it
1: Your house is sitting on a solid ground or rock, so if heat flows directly into earth by the principal of conduction, this accounts for an estimated 15% heat-loss.
2: Heat travels by conduction through the solid walls and roof of your home. On the outside, the outer walls and roof tiles are hotter than the atmosphere, so the cold air near them warms up and flows away by convection. This process accounts for an
a: Walls = 35% heat loss
b: Roof = 25% heat loss
c: Doors & Windows = 25 % heat loss
The principal is very simple, the more heat escapes from your house, the colder it gets inside and you have to use more heating and in the end the more it ends up costing you. It is safe to say, that it’s far better to insulate your home and reduce heat loss. And the great thing about heat insulation is that it usually pays itself quite quickly in lower fuel bills.