As everyone knows we have been talking a lot about Heat Loss, the process where heat escapes from your home out into the cold. There are many ways that a well-built home loses heat but one of them is seldom thought about.
Lumber, the material that every home is built with, is an excellent conductor of heat. Look at your kitchen pots and pans, I’ll bet 90% of them are aluminum. The really good pots and pans also have a copper bottom.
There is a simple reason why cookware is made out of aluminum; it absorbs and transmits heat very well. When you put your pan on the stove you want it to heat up quickly. Or, you want it to be made from a material that transmits the heat quickly; that is aluminum.
The lumber in your home does the exact same thing as the pans. It absorbs heat quickly and transfers it quickly. That lumber is referred to as a “Thermal Bridge.” It moves heat from one place to another quickly. It moves heat from inside where it is warm and comfortable to outside where it is cold and nasty. That is one type of Heat Loss.
We are going to suggest two effective ways to mitigate the Heat Loss through lumger:
- Use less lumber – if lumber contributes to Heat Loss then it logically follows to use less lumber. Most homes are built with a framing stud every 16”. If that span were increased to 24” there would be less lumber and the building would be structurally strong. Simple solution that works because there are fewer Thermal Bridges.
- Include a Thermal Barrier – if on the outside of every home there was a Thermal Barrier it would stop the heat loss through the lumber / Thermal Bridge.
The concept of Thermal Bridges and Thermal Barriers is something that typically is not considered when your local contractor builds a home. Here at Vermont Modular we focus on Energy Efficiency and that includes Thermal Barriers.
What are your thoughts? Call us at 802.985-5855 We would love to hear from you!