Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Improving the Thermal Envelope

I can tell that the hours I've spent in my attic have made a difference in the temperature of my house. For example, 2 nights ago the temperature dropped to 28 F. Normally on a night like that with the heat set low (set on 58F - I like to sleep cool under my blankets and comforter) the temperature will drop 10 degrees overnight. This time it only dropped 4 degrees and I haven't finished with my first layer of insulation yet. I've got about 15 joist bays to go.

The photos from my infrared camera also show the difference. This way you can actually SEE the difference.
Infrared photo of my stairway ceiling before air sealing around the sun tunnel. 
Now look at the difference afterwards. I have not put down a layer of insulation in front of the Sun Tunnel yet because I just foamed it. The camera in both photos is not calibrated to the same temperature, but you can still see where the warmth escapes. And you can see that the area around the Sun Tunnel no longer transmits heat.

The center circle is the Sun Tunnel itself which is not insulated at all. It is basically a transparent dome surrounded by a tube of very shiny aluminum to transmit light to dark areas.

This photo shows a soffit in my kitchen before and after insulation.  Again, the camera is not calibrated the same because I don't know how to do that. But you can still see that there is much less heat transfer in this area.

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