Wednesday, December 14th, 2016 by Jeanne Pungello
My name is David Vasseur and I’m one of the spray foam experts here at Dr. Energy Saver of the Hudson Valley. I’ve worked here since 2004, and in that time I’ve learned quite a bit about building science and how to maximize your home’s comfort. One of the most interesting pieces of this education is the manner in which heat energy moves in our homes. The common belief is that heat exclusively rises, but I’ve learned it’s a little more complicated than that.
Radiation is the process by which the sun’s energy travels through the cold vacuum of outer space to reach Earth. Essentially, the heat moves from its source, through an empty space and then warms the object on the other end of that space.
Conduction is the process of heat energy passing through a physical object, like a coffee mug, or fiberglass insulation. Our spray foam insulation is meant to mitigate as much as of this as possible by providing high levels of resistance -- high R-Values -- to keep heat energy from escaping.
Convection, or the movement of heat energy with air molecules, is the third process. Heat causes air molecules to move faster and increases the distance between them. This leads to hot air being less dense than cold air, which features slow-moving, tightly packed air molecules, and explains why hot air seeks to move upwards.
As warm air rises, it escapes through the roof of your home. Conventional fiberglass does nothing to prevent this phenomenon and, even though it’s widely used for home insulation, is actually utilized in other contexts because it allows air to pass through it. Essentially, fiberglass has an extremely low R-Value. Other factors that contribute to the loss of heat are present in all homes, such as holes for wiring and plumbing, partitions, access panels, drop soffits, light fixtures and more.
This issue impacts your wallet repeatedly. Not only are you losing money on the heated air that escapes from your home, you’re losing money constantly heating the new cold air that’s consequently sucked into your home through leaky windows, doors, electrical outlets and other draft-prone places.
The way to solve this, and one of our specialties, is air sealing the top of your home. Warm air can’t escape a roof that’s been sealed, and if that air doesn’t leave there’s no catalyst for outside air to be drawn inside. This benefits you in the winter and summer months, as the air you’ve paid to heat or cool is no longer displaced. Your drafts disappear and you end up paying substantially less to keep your home comfortable all year round.
We have specialists waiting to speak with you and investigate your home’s particular issues, and our experienced crews and multiple options are sure to amend any drafty home.
We’ve done this kind of work all throughout New York, including Beacon, Wurtsboro, Highland, Woodbury, Glen Spey and Port Jervis, NY.