A well-insulated home is essential during our chilly Indianapolis winters, but insulation for cooling is also important during the summer. Here’s how it works.
What Insulation Does
Heat seeks to move from a warm to a cool area through convection, radiation, or conduction, explained as follows:
- Convection: heat is transferred through a gas or liquid.
- Radiant: heat travels in a straight line from its source, heating solids that absorb its energy, such as sunlight on a roof.
- Conduction: Heat flows from a warm location through a material, such as the heat from a hot bowl of soup traveling through a spoon to your hand.
Insulation is installed to slow down this heat transfer, be it in the summer, when heat seeks to enter the home, or in the winter, when it tries to escape through crevices in the home.
How Much Insulation for Cooling?
The most common types of insulation slow conductive and (to a lesser extent) convective heat flow. Reflective radiant barriers, when installed under the roof, reduce radiant heat (which travels by means of conductive heat flow through the roof) transfer to attic surfaces.
Insulation’s ability to resist conductive heat flow is measured by a factor called the R-value. The higher the number, the more effective the insulation. Many factors affect the R-value, including thickness, density, where it is installed, and others. An installation contractor can tell you how much R-value your home requires.
Types of Insulation
The type of insulation you choose to reduce conductive heat flow will depend on where it’s installed. These are two of the most common kinds:
- Batts are sections of insulation, often installed on attic floors between joists to keep attic heat out of the home in the summer and help retain heat in the home in winter. This insulation can settle and become less effective over time.
- Injection foam insulation is an effective choice for walls as it fills up spaces and leaves no gaps. It hardens quickly so it won’t settle and lose its efficiency over time.
For more on insulation for cooling, contact Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing of Indianapolis.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Brownsburg, Indiana and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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