Note 41. How Insulation Works
The Energy Efficiency Manual provides groups of energy conservation measures that optimize the use of insulation for the building structure, for heating systems, and for cooling systems. This Note explains how insulation works.
The purpose of insulation is to block the flow of heat. The Note begins by defining the meaning of heat, both as thermal energy in material and as radiated electromagnetic energy. Heat transfer by conduction, radiation, and convection are explained.
The Note explains how various types of insulation block conduction, radiation, and convection. So-called reflective insulation is also considered. Thermal lag and heat storage effects are explained.