The Gaines Group

Green Term Defined: Heat Flow

Green Term Defined: Heat Flow

When two objects with different temperatures come together, energy will be transferred from the object with a higher temperature to that with the lower temperature. The objects exchange thermal energy until each have reached the same temperature or equilibrium. The basic means to transfer heat include Conduction, Convection, and Radiation. 

Conduction – the flow of heat through an object by transferring heat from one molecule to another. Think frying pan on a stove or wood stud that touches the inside drywall and the outside wall sheathing.

air leak

Convection – refers to the transfer of heat by a moving fluid. Thing warm air rising and cool air sinking in a room. Convection loops circulate near walls. During the heating season, warm air is cooled by exterior walls and falls towards the floor, creating a convection loop. Convective loops can also happen within framing cavities if the insulation doesn’t completely fill the space.

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Radiation – flow of heat from a warm source through space in waves of infrared or visible light energy. Think sunlight through a window.

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