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Why Insulate Houses?

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Investigation - Mike Richards Why Insulate Houses? To keep houses warn in the winter we need to hold the temperature inside the house above the temperature outside. To do this heat energy is produced within the house. Unfortunately not all of this heat energy goes to warm the house as some of it is "Lost to the surroundings." In this experiment you will investigate how heat lost from enclosed spaces can be reduced and if insulation helps slow down the rate at which energy leaves the house. Investigation - Plan We will create an experiment to test where heat is lost from the home and how insulation can prevent this. To do this we will need several items. The first of which is a house. What Will I Investigate? There are several options in investigating heat loss. The two Andrew and I chose to focus on would either be: How Different Types Of Heat Loss Affect The House? Or Insulation In Which Part Of The House Would Save The Most Energy? First we looked at how to prevent different types of heart loss! Heat is lost through: Radiation, Conduction and Convection. Radiation is prevented by Shiny surfaces as waves are reflected by shiny surfaces. Insulators such as air can stop conduction. A lid could stop convection as it prevents the heat from escaping from the top. We analysed this further. It would be possible to try different materials such as foil to stop radiation and wool to stop conduction, but wool will reflect a certain amount of heat meaning it is being used as two types of insulation. ...read more.


In order for this to be a fair test we will have to test each insulator 3 times to filter anomaly. This table shows the things that I shall change and the things that I shall keep the same during the experiment: Same Change Beaker Usage of wool Water temp Cling film Heat proof mat Cotton Wool Thermometer "What we will do" - Method - We shall heat the water up to 80�c and take readings over a 600 second period of time. From this we hope to be able to plot the cooling curves of the averages and conclude whether or not the insulation was. Safety - To make sure that we are safe as we carry out this investigation, Safety specs will be worn at all times. We shall also avoid carrying hot water large distances and avoid contact with the beaker after the water has been poured away. I believe that the area that will be most effected by the insulation will be the walls. Be looking at other sources I came across a page in the physics for you book that talked about heat loss in the house. Most heat was lost through the walls then the roof then the floor. I believe that it would be necessary to insulate the walls for this reason. I hope that my investigation will imitate this. Investigation - Obtaining Evidence "What we could see" - When the experiments took place we were not able to see much happen. ...read more.


Investigation - Evaluation Due to professional composure and expansive planning, I believe that the results obtained from this investigation were sufficient to make firm conclusions that can be backed up with quotations from other sources. Although the investigation was highly successful there are several things I would change if I was to conduct the experiment again there are several things I would do differently. Firstly I would change the fluid that represented the house. I would not use water as it has a high SHC. This means that it has much energy within it at high temperatures and it would therefore take longer to cool. This is the reason our cooling curves are not as steep as I would like them to be. I could have used a different axis, instead of using 100-0�C I could have used a graph of 100-65�c. This would accommodate all results as they all fall in this range and the cooling curve would have appeared much more evident. If I was to change the fluid that represented the air within the house it would have been essential to use a temperature reader more accurate than a thermometer. It would be much more accurate and there more reliable. The Graphs could have been plotted easier and with more precision. It may also have been beneficial to work in a room with static air. We were working quite close to a window and therefore the air would be moving and the heat around the beaker would have been dispersed. This could have altered the results slightly but for classroom purposes I believe the results obtained are reliable and I'm therefore satisfied with them. H/W 28/04/07 ...read more.

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