The natural path of heat is that it will flow from a hot area to a cooler area. Heat naturally wants to spread across a space to create equilibrium.
There are three different ways that heat moves: radiation, conduction, and convection.
The first way that heat moves is radiation. Radiation is the way the sun heats the earth. The sun is so hot that the heat from the sun flows to the earth. When the sun is out, you can feel the heat on your skin. If you skin is exposed to the sun for too long then it will burn from radiation.
Another type of heat movement is conduction. Conduction happens when heat passes through a solid object and heats that object up. This is what happens when you heat a pot on the stove. The heat moves through the metal of the pot to heat the contents.
The third type of heat movement is convection. Convection occurs when heat moves through air or water that is heated. This happens in a forced air furnace. A furnace heats air and then that air is moved throughout a house using blows pushing it through vents into the home.
The home can become heated when it is warmer outside than it is inside. When this happens, we usually want to cool our homes, but we can slow the heat by insulating our houses well. There are ways to help save energy by planting shade trees or with painting with special barrier paint that reflects radiation. This helps stop heat from entering the home. Solar window screens can also partially block the sun. There is also reflective film on the market that can be put over windows to help block out part of the sun’s rays.
This is good during the summer, but during the winter we want to our homes to collect as much as the heat as possible. Shade trees that bloom during the summer, work really well in the winter because they will not shade during the winter.
Insulation slows the absorption of heat into a home by slowing down the movement of the heat. Insulation can be used in attics, ceilings, floors, and walls. The more you have, the move energy efficient your home will be.
Sometimes heat escapes the home and that isn’t what we want. It can escape from around windows, under or above doors, or through vents or chimneys. To help save energy and money, it is best to stop heat from escaping through the areas. So it is best to block any means of escape for your heated or cooled air. By putting weather sealing, barriers, and insulation can help you save energy and money.