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The Difference Between Conduction, Convection and Radiation

Different types of insulation use different methods by which they cool your building or space. Many of the most commonly used types of insulation, including foam and fiberglass, reduce the transfer of conductive and to a lesser extent convective heat. However, conduction and convection are not the only means by which heat can travel within a space. Read on to learn the difference between conduction, convection, and radiation and what you should look for when insulating your home or building.

Conduction, Convection and Radiation

Heat transfer occurs through three different processes: conduction (heat flowing directly through the wall, ceiling, or roof), convection (warm air rising as it heats up and expands) and radiation (heat rays radiating from a warm space to a cooler space, such as when your furnace or coffee mug gives off heat). Reducing the radiant heat from the sun is a major issue for buildings with metal roofs, where foam and fiberglass insulation alone is often not sufficient to control indoor temperatures.

Many types of insulation offer protection from conductive and convective heat. However, ignoring radiant heat when insulating your building means that you will not receive full effectiveness and energy savings that you could from your insulation.

How does Radiant Barrier work?

Radiant Barrier, made of aluminum, is a unique insulation solution in that it reflects rather than absorbs heat, unlike traditional insulation including foam and fiberglass. Heat never stays in one place; it is constantly seeking equilibrium by moving from a warmer to a colder space.

Traditional insulation such as foam or fiberglass only slow radiant heat loss – they cannot stop it in its tracks. With its unique reflective properties, Radiant Barrier prevents up to 97% of radiant heat loss, making your indoor heating and air conditioning more efficient and saving you money on energy bills.

Questions about conduction, convection and radiation, and how to select the best insulation for your space? Give our team a call today at 817-538-5222. We look forward to speaking with you!

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