Thermal diffusion-conduction is a scientific term that relates to how different temperature transfers take place. It is a very important aspect when it comes to understanding how insulation works and why insulation is important. Typically, thermal conduction takes place from an area of heat to an area that is colder. This is what is effectively known as heat loss. Thermal diffusion is when particles flow from an area of high concentration to an area of lower concentration, thus diffusing or balancing out the temperature. Together, diffusion and conduction can have a dramatic effect on the energy efficiency of your home.
How Do Insulators Help Reduce Thermal Diffusion Conduction?
Insulators provide a protective barrier that slows and reduces the amount of thermal diffusion-conduction that occurs. Think of a thermos flask, for example. The flask is made up of two compartments. The inner compartment holds your coffee. The gap between the inner compartment and the outside of the flask forms an insulating barrier against cold external temperatures. This ensures that your coffee stays warmer for longer. The same applies to insulators that are used in your home. You will have various heat sources. Think of the hot water piping in your home. Do the pipes flow up and through a cold uninsulated room such as an attic? If so, a vast amount of the heat could be lost in the process. For the same reason, many people place insulating blankets around their geysers so the heat generated is not lost. Small things such as cracks in floorboards, windows or door frames can all aid in thermal diffusion-conduction. By sealing up these gaps, you can ensure that warm air doesn't escape or that hot air doesn't get in when you are trying to keep a space cool.
Why Is Insulation in Your Home Important?
You may be wondering what all the fuss is about insulation and thermal diffusion-conduction? In decades past, it was not something that the average person was overly concerned about. As long as their home was warm in winter, that was all that mattered. However, today more people are realizing that the planet does not have unlimited resources. It is because of this that we need to think of ways to use resources more wisely so they are optimized. For example, no one would switch a heater on and then place it in a drafty passageway because it would be ineffective. The cold air blowing through the passageway would diffuse the warm air generated by the heater. Rather, you will place the heater in a closed room with only a little ventilation. The walls would ensure that the heat generated stays in the room and the power used to generate the heat is more effectively used. Good insulation in your home is an essential part of making sure that you use your energy resources more optimally.
Areas in Your Home You Need to Insulate Properly
Because of thermal diffusion-conduction, there are certain areas in your home that are more vulnerable to heat loss. Because heat rises, proper roofing insulation can help to make your home more energy efficient. Sealing up air gaps where heat might be able to escape will go a long way to improving the insulation in your home. Air vents and cable ducts are other areas of your home where insulation is important. Also consider how your piping is laid out in your home and if there are ways to improve upon it. Added insulation can help prevent heat loss in the pipes which will require that you use less energy to heat your water.
Why Is Polyurethane Spray Foam More Effective as an Insulator?
Insulation is rated according to an R-value. This refers to how effectively it slows down or reduces thermal diffusion-conduction. Of all the types of insulators, polyurethane spray foam has the highest R-value rating. For example, fiberglass batting has an R-value of 3.5. Most types of closed cell spray foam insulation have an R-value of 7 or higher. Even open cell spray foam, which is considered to have a lower density, has an R-value of 4 which still rates higher than other types of insulation. Spray foam can be evenly applied to a surface and even be inserted into hard-to-reach places to create a tight seal over the area. One of the reasons that spray foam is effective as an insulator is that the foam expands and is able to get into all the tiny cracks and crevasses in your home. Polyurethane spray foam is very effective in reducing thermal diffusion-conduction.