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Insulation generally refers to any material which provides resistance to heat flow, limiting the flow of heat between two bodies that are not at the same temperature. A critical component in buildings, the primary goal of insulation is to help keep outdoor air from getting inside the building and conditioned indoor air from escaping.

The more heat flow resistance that the insulation provides, the lower the heating and cooling costs. More importantly, installing proper insulation in buildings provides efficiency, sustainability, and human comfort.

The importance of insulationSeveral materials are used in building insulation. The most common are glass wool, polyester, natural wool, or the recycled paper which makes up bulk insulation. Reflective insulation is usually made from shiny aluminium foil that is laminated into paper or plastic. Insulating concrete forms are typically manufactured with polystyrene foam, polyurethane foam, cement-bonded wood fibre, or cellular concrete. Spray foam involves polyurethane and isocyanate foams being sprayed with a gun.

Every building insulation product is rated based on a measurement of resistance the material has to the movement of heat, which is commonly known as R-value. The higher the R-value, the more effective the insulation.

The type of building insulation used is dependent on where it is installed. The idea is to create a ‘building envelope’, so several types of insulation may be used in any given area. Five main areas of a house should be properly insulated: The attic, walls, floors, crawl spaces, and basement.

Walls are generally the primary focus for insulation because they lose around 30% to 40% of the heat in the house in winter. The roof accounts for approximately 25% of heat loss. Windows and doors provide 20% heat loss.

One area that is often neglected, however, is the ducting system. Insulated ducts ensure that the air traveling through the ductwork will stay at the desired temperature and that the air won't “leak” out. This prevents condensation and dripping from ducts. Should air leak out, the HVAC systems, which are in charge of providing thermal comfort and acceptable indoor air quality in a building, will have to work harder to deliver the indoor air required. Consequently, there will be unnecessary costs other than energy being wasted.

Magazines

African Fusion

AfricanFusionAfrican Fusion, the official publication of the Southern African Institute of Welding (SAIW), aims to provide up-to-date insight into welding technology and the welding industry.

Capital Equipment News

Capital Equipment News is dedicated to the application of equipment and modes of transport that are used in the mining, construction, quarrying, and transport industries.

Construction World

ConstructionWorldConstruction World was first published in 1982 and has grown to become a leader in its field, offering a unique mix of editorial coverage to satisfy the diverse needs of its readers.

Electricity + Control

ElectricityandControlE + C publishes innovative, technical articles that provide solutions to engineering challenges in measurement, automation, control, and energy management.

Lighting in Design

LightingandDesignLighting in Design is a glossy, upmarket publication aimed at lighting professionals. It is the only B2B magazine in SA that is dedicated solely to the subject of lighting.

MechChem Africa

MechChemJanuary2017cover MechChem Africa supports African engineering and technical managers across the full spectrum of chemical and mechanical disciplines.

Modern Mining

ModernMiningEstablished in 2005, Modern Mining is one of SA's leading monthly mining magazines, noted for the quality and accuracy of its writing and the breadth of its coverage.

Modern Quarrying

ModernQuarryingModern Quarrying is firmly entrenched as a leading industry-specific magazine. It focuses on promoting the science and practice of quarrying and processing in southern Africa.

Sparks Electrical News

SparksElectricalNewsReadable and informative, Sparks Electrical News is the newspaper for those involved in installing and maintaining electrical supplies and equipment.

 
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