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Energy flow

So the 3 fmethods of energy flow - Radiant, conduction, and convection.

Is there data that show heat loss or gains through the different part of the structure, ie walls, ceiling, basement floor broken down by heat flow method.

On top of that is there anything showing the walls and cieling with different type of insulation. I realize that iy id noy going to be consistent across all homes.

Asked by Robert Hronek
Posted Sep 2, 2011 1:48 PM ET


1 Answer

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Your question is impossible to answer. When the Delta-T is high, there is a lot of radiant heat flow through an uninsulated wall; however, once the wall is well insulated, there isn't much radiation.

So, the answer is: it depends.

Frankly, though, it doesn't matter. If you address air leakage and provide high levels of insulation, you're good to go. Don't worry about how the heat is flowing.

The only time radiation matters is when a building assembly lacks insulation. The classic example: a sloping roof assembly over an unconditioned vented attic in a hot climate. That type of assembly can benefit from a radiant barrier, especially if there is ductwork in the attic.

Answered by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor
Posted Sep 2, 2011 1:56 PM ET

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