Does insulation work in summer?
Most people assume that insulation is something that keeps their home warmer in colder weather. While that is true, the actual impact of insulation is to slow the movement of heat between two spaces. What this means is that during the summer months the insulation will also prevent your home from overheating.
How does insulation work?
To understand why insulation works well in both warm and cold weather, let’s take a look at how insulation actually works.
Air is an extremely good insulator when it is trapped and unable to move around, so by trapping little pockets of air within the insulation, you will actually produce a great insulating effect. And because this process is about preventing heat transfer, it doesn’t matter if it is warmer outside than inside, or colder outside. Either way, the warm air is not going to travel across that barrier, and the insulation will do its job.
The other type of insulation often used in homes is foil insulation. Rather than trapping air bubbles in its bulk, foil uses its reflective surface to deflect heat back from where it came. Whether that heat is coming from outside or inside. A common place that this sort of insulation is found is in loft and roof spaces. Sometimes you will see a combination of the two, with a shiny foil insulation surrounding a bulky wool-like insulation.
How to maximize the effect of insulation in warm weather
If you have insulated all the key areas of the home – especially your loft and walls, you are going to have created a really good barrier to prevent the heat from getting in on a baking hot day.
There are a few other useful tips however that will help make sure the heat stays outside and the cool air is inside!
You could of course get an air conditioner, but that would defeat the purpose of insulation as an energy saver wouldn’t it – so here are some other ways of stopping your home getting warm in summer without firing up the AC
Is insulation still important in summer?
I think one of the best examples of insulation at work is if you venture up into your loft.
If you visit a well-insulated loft in winter, with lots of wool insulation between the joists, you will notice the area is really cold – this is because the heat is being blocked from reaching the loft by all that thick insulation below you.
If you visit this same loft during the summer months, you will notice that it is really hot up there. That is because the heat from the sun has warmed up the roof and loft space, but the insulation is slowing the movement of heat from the loft space down into the house.
You will also notice that a poorly insulated roof room (loft conversion) is really cold in winter but also really hot in summer – another great example of how insulation helps to moderate the temperature in a home.
Solid wall insulation does exactly the same thing! It means there is no need to put on the AC during the summer months helping to save you money then too!
I hope this illustrates the importance of insulation not just as a winter energy saver, but also to help keep the home cool in the summer months. The important thing to take away is that insulation is a barrier, and that barrier will help stop heat from transferring across it, whatever the direction!
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