San Antonio Roofing: Article About Lowering Air Conditioning Costs
The insulation in attic spaces, typically one of three variations of fiberglass wool, works to prevent heat gain in addition to heat loss. Heat loss does not represent much of an issue for San Antonio roofing companies in terms of the comfort of a home's occupants. These companies focus more on reducing the energy expenditure required to cool a house. Experienced professional roofers work with the three ways that account for the way heat from the sun transfers to homes: conduction, convection and radiation. The science behind heat transfer carries the name thermodynamics, and its basic concepts are simple.
Conduction refers to the way heat moves between solid objects. Roofing material subjected to direct sunlight gains heat and passes it along to the structural components of the roof that it touches.
Convection describes heat moving from its source to its destination through the atmosphere. Heat always travels from the warmer to the cooler spot. A hot roof heats the air above it, causing the air to expand and rise as currents. This also happens to the air inside the attic, creating a virtual oven.
Both conduction and convection rely on physical contact between the warmer and the cooler object. Radiation transfers heat without physical contact between the heat source and the object receiving the heat.
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The heat from the sun passes through empty space via infrared radiation. The warmth from a light bulb's filament represents another form of radiation. Reducing heat gain from this source in a warm climate significantly reduces energy consumption for air conditioning used to cool homes; radiant barrier insulation provides the means for doing this. Radiant barrier insulation reflects infrared radiation away, preventing it from having the chance to transfer heat to a home's roof and to its interior.
One type of radiant insulation consists of aluminum powder mixed with paint. The other type is a highly reflective foil with a reinforced paper backing. This type provides better thermal efficiency compared to the painted on variety, but both function in essentially the same manner by preventing heat from reaching areas where it can accumulate. Due to its higher insulating value, reflective foil is the first choice where feasible.
A complete understanding of the laws of thermodynamics is not required in order to experience the benefits of insulation. Working with a professional who has a sound working knowledge, however, may represent an investment in home comfort and energy efficiency far beyond the initial cost.