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Have you ever found yourself asking, “how does insulation actually work?” We here at Atlantic Insulation (AICS) can guide you through that and answer any questions you might have.

Three key terms in heat are conduction, convection and radiation.  What exactly are they and how does insulation interact with them?

Conduction is the way heat travels through materials.  Insulation slows down this heat flow and keeps it from moving from the outside of your home to the inside.

Convection is the way that the heat travels through liquids and gasses.  The hot air rises while the cooler air sinks. (Have you ever noticed that your second floor is warmer than the first floor?)  Insulation slows the convective heat flow.

Radiation is the type of heat that travels in a straight line, thereby heating anything in its path.  Insulation reduces this heat and is most effective when it is directed towards the airflow.

In the winter, without insulation, the hot air moves from heated areas in your home to cooler ones.  The cold temperatures outside cause you home’s heating system to make up for the heat loss; constantly trying to fill in where heat has escaped.  During the summer, cold air is lost when heat enters; thus, causing your ac system to overcompensate. 

It is the insulation’s job to stop the air flow and allow your heat and ac systems to efficiently keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer.  When gaps in a home are filled with insulation, the convective heat loss is reduced.

All types of insulation have an “R-value.”  Closed cell spray foam is the best insulation to reach those “nooks and crannies” – aka – your attic and crawl space since the insulation is sprayed onto these surfaces filling any voids and keeping your home airtight.

If you have questions or are interested in spray foam insulation, remember AICS is the place to contact. Visit our website at

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