Insulation

Take a look at this thermogram of a house. Its roof and windows are the hottest, showing that most energy is lost from the house that way.

A thermogram of a house, showing areas of heat loss. The roof and the windows are the yellowest and reddest areas, indicating that most energy is lost from the house this way.
A thermogram of house, showing areas of heat loss

Energy is transferred from warm homes to the outside by:

  • conduction through the walls, floor, roof and windows
  • radiation from the walls, roof and windows

Ways to reduce energy transfer

There are some simple ways to reduce energy transfers from a house, including fitting:

  • carpets and curtains
  • reflective foil on the inside walls
  • double glazing

Double glazing involves having two panes of glass in the window instead of just one. There is air or an even better insulator such as argon gas between the two panes of glass. This reduces energy transfer by conduction.

Energy loss through walls can be reduced using cavity wall insulation. This involves blowing insulating material into the gap between the outside wall and the inside wall to reduce conduction. Loft insulation works in a similar way.

How people and animals use insulation to keep warm

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