Q:

What is the purpose of insulation?

A:

Quick Answer

Insulation is installed in homes or businesses to reduce noise and help maintain desired temperatures inside. Insulation reduces the heat transfer between the inside of a building and the outside.

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Full Answer

In the winter, when the inside of a home is warmer than the outside, the heat inside the home is transferred to the colder outside air, making the inside colder. The more insulation installed in a building, the less heat that is lost to the outside. Reducing the amount of heat lost in the winter reduces the energy required to heat a house, makes the house more comfortable and results in lower heating bills. Similarly, a house stays cooler and requires less energy to cool in the warmer months if it’s well insulated.

Insulation’s thermal resistance is measured by an industry standard called “R-value.” As the R-value goes up, so too does the ability of the insulation to slow down the rate of heat transfer between a building and the outside air. This value takes into account all aspects of the insulation including: thickness, materials and weight. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that homeowners can reduce their energy bills from 10 to 50 percent with a major portion being possible through proper insulation. In addition to thermal benefits, insulation can help reduce sound transmission through walls, floor and ceilings.

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