How Does Insulation Work?

Everyone knows that a home needs insulation, but how exactly does it work?

Temperature naturally tries to equalize. A mass of warm air will be drawn to cool air, and will transfer heat to the cooler air until both air masses are the same temperature.

In your home, this means that your heat will be trying to escape in the winter, and your Air Conditioner will be trying to cool the outdoors in the summer. Even when there is no air transfer, heat can be passed through solid walls, and radiated to the other side. It is the job of insulation to reduce both of these forms of heat transfer. The ability of a material to slow the equalization of temperature on both sides is called its heat flow resistance. This resistance is measured as a material’s “R-Value”.

Some building materials have more resistance to heat flow than others. Drywall, wood, and brick are all relatively conductive, and many of the homes in Winnipeg are built of them almost exclusively. While they’re structurally strong, they require some help in the thermal department.

Above All Insulation is one of the area’s experts in the application of spray foam insulation in new construction and in pre-existing buildings. Spray foam insulation is an environmentally friendly way to add considerable R-Value to walls, attics, and foundations. The product that we use is a closed-cell foam, which means that it has tiny air pockets in it that aren’t connected to each other, forming a nonporous barrier against the flow of air and moisture. It’s made of renewable and recycled materials (including sugar, vegetable oil, and post-consumer waste), and features a very high heat-flow resistance.

If you would like more information about spray foam insulation or the other insulative products that we carry, contact us with your questions.