Home Insulation is Like an Oven Mitt
Growing up with insulation in the attic was a downer. It was filled
with glass that would make your skin itch.
The desire to stay away from it made hiding the attic a sometimes
difficult affair, as all the good spots against the wall were taken. What
children couldn’t understand is how insulation is actually incredibly
helpful in keeping out the cold in the winter time.
How It Works
To understand how insulation works, you first have to understand
how heat flows through matter. Take a hot kitchen pan for example.
Say you’re baking cookies in the oven. After the 10-20 minutes in the
oven, the pan gets extremely hot.
Touching it with bare fingers scalds your skin. Touching it with a thin
cloth keeps out the heat for a matter of moments.
The heat penetrates through pretty quickly though. Touching it with an insulated oven mitt allows you
to grab hold of that hot pan for extended periods of time.
The more padding you have between the pan and your fingers, the harder it is for the heat to reach you.
Since oven mitts are often thickly wrapped in cotton and insulation, it is very difficult for the heat to get
to your fingers, keeping you safe.
Furthermore, the more air and loosely spread the material in the mitt, the slower the heat transfer from
the pan to your hand. This is how insulation works for your house.
No walls are just like touching the pan with your bare hands. There’s nothing protecting the inside of the
home from the weather.
Thin walls are like a thin cloth, they will keep out
the temperature for a matter of moment, but they
are ineffective at locking it out, causing your heater
to work harder to keep the home warm. The
thicker you make the walls, the better insulated
your house will be from the cold.
Most houses create a 6” barrier between the
outside world and the cozy indoors for just that
purpose. Insulation is fluffy and sturdy to hold its shape, while allowing still air to exist within.
Still air slows heat transfer effectively. By putting the
outside layer of cotton and wool up (the wall) and putting
in the internal layer of soft, cushioned fabric on the inside
(the insulation) you create an effective barrier that will
keep out the cold.
Furthermore, you create an even playing field inside the
insulation for the cold outside to be counteracted by the
heat inside. The more evenly spread your insulation, the
better it keeps out the cold.
Change of Insulation
Sometime in your ownership, you might discover that one part of the house is colder than the others.
There’s always the chance that you have a void in your insulation there, meaning the insulation doesn’t
fully cover the house.
Getting an energy audit in West Jordan can help you discover those problems and fix them. Aerolite
conducts energy audits in West Jordan.
They are trained in the art of discovering voids in your insulation protection. They will find the problem
and help you figure out how you can fix it.
Photo Credit: SportSuburban, Craftapalooza