science behind insulation

The Science Behind Insulation

Written by AAA Insulation on .

It’s important to understand how insulation works to keep our homes warm and comfortable. Here’s a simple breakdown of the science behind insulation and how it benefits your living spaces.

Understanding Heat Flow

Heat naturally moves from areas of high temperature to those of lower temperature. During winter, the warmth inside a building attempts to escape through walls, windows, roofs, and floors. This process is influenced by three primary mechanisms. Conduction, convection, and radiation.

Heat Transfer from Conduction

Conduction involves the transmission of heat through direct contact between materials. Metals are excellent conductors, while insulating materials like wood and air are poor conductors.

Heat Transfer from Convection

Convection occurs in gases and liquids. When a hot surface contacts cooler air, heat is transferred to the air. This warmed air becomes less dense and rises upwards, creating a continuous flow of air known as natural convection. In buildings, convective heat transfer primarily occurs in wall and roof cavities.

Heat Transfer from Radiation

Radiation is the transmission of heat energy from a warm surface to a cooler one through space or air. All materials emit radiant energy to different extents based on their surface characteristics and temperature. A common example is the radiant heat from the sun, which affects objects upon contact.

How Insulation Works

Insulation works by reducing heat flow through a building envelope, helping to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature. Here’s how it combats each heat transfer mechanism…

Insulating materials with small voids or air pockets minimise heat transfer by conduction. These materials have thin connecting walls or discontinuous fibres that get in the way of the flow of heat.

Effective insulation contains small air pockets that limit air movement, reducing convective heat transfer. Additionally, constructing buildings with small, self-contained air spaces helps minimise convective currents.

Insulation absorbs radiant heat energy, preventing it from penetrating into your home. Low emissivity surfaces, characterised by a shiny metallic finish, emit minimal radiant energy and absorb very little incoming radiation.

Using the science behind insulation to choose the Right Insulation

When selecting insulation for your home, consider its thermal conductivity. A lower thermal conductivity indicates better insulation performance. Additionally, look for insulation with a high thermal resistance (R-value), which measures a material’s ability to resist heat transfer. Understanding the science behind insulation empowers homeowners to make informed decisions about their homes’ thermal performance.

At AAA Insulation we choose to use blown insulation as our preferred insulation product. The reason we prefer blown insulation products is because of how well blown insulation performs to prevent or slow heat transfer across all transmission methods. Our blown insulation is a glasswool product, made from over 80% recycled glass and it’s a great insulator against heat transfer, making it easy to keep your home warm and dry all year round.

If you think your home is poorly insulated contact AAA Insulation for a free home insulation assessment. Our experienced team will evaluate your insulation needs and recommend solutions tailored to your home’s requirements. Schedule your assessment today at

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