Insulation and Heat Transfer

Insulation and Heat TransferIf you remember your basic chemistry classes, you understand some things about heat content and heat transfer. However, in case you were nodding off while your teacher droned on and on, we will give you a short refresher course in the subject.

Imagine that you have a cup of coffee and that it is freshly made. Obviously, the cup will be hot, and the coffee inside will be much hotter. You will have to wait a minute or two to begin sipping it, making sure that you do not burn yourself too badly in the process. As time progresses, the cup of coffee becomes cooler and you are able to drink some of it, allowing the greater temperature in the cup to warm your body.

Now, you may think that heat content is the same as the temperature of your coffee. This is not the case. Heat content is like another liquid, called “heat”, superimposed on the coffee inside the cup. The cup of coffee, at that temperature, can hold a specific amount of “heat” within it. Now, if you had a large, insulated canister filled with hot coffee (at the same temperature), then the heat content would rise because the larger canister is capable of holding more heat than the cup can. Again, just think of “heat” as a liquid which is superimposed in the same space as the liquid which has been poured.

In your home, you are capable of generating a great deal of heat. As the weather changes, you will want more heat added when it gets cooler and more heat taken away when it gets hotter. Either way, insulation is a necessary factor. In order to properly maintain your ideal indoor temperature without your energy bill skyrocketing, you must be able to keep your insulation properly cleaned, or it will be degraded by dust and mites, and will eventually erode.

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