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The temperature of the homes in Kodai are usually extremely cold all year for many families. As a result, Kodai residents would keep their homes warm by burning wood in their furnace, polluting the environment everyday. What if the houses in Kodai were constructed in a well insulated manner? Would the general well-being of the Kodai environment improve as there would be less demand for a fiery furnace (Rubric)? In Kodai, the general building material of windows are thin glass and the roofs are made up partially by wood, metal and plastic. The walls are structured using cement and stone and the floors are made up of cement and tiles. Also, the approximate height from the floor to the highest point of the ceiling is about 3 meters (Personal interview 1). As a result, a typical Kodai home would lose the most thermal energy through the walls, the windows and the roof (BBC News).
The goal of this essay is to find out the best ways in which a home in Kodaikanal can be insulated. This essay will discuss 2 popular and efficient methods that are used to further insulate homes. The first method is the Batts Insulation and the second method is the Blow-in Insulation. The method that will work the best in Kodai is the Blow-in Insulation. This method also has an advantage of the envrionmental factor with the disadvantage of an economic factor.
The first method to insulate a typical Kodai Home without having to use a furnace is the Batts Insulation. The Batts Insulation involves using a thin and flexible glass wool. Glass wool is a great insulating material and also has many benefits that would ensure a warmer home. This material does not catch on fire or melt easily. It also has a tough structure to it which protects it from becoming food to tiny animals or insects. Glass wool does not rot as well, acting as a long lasting heat insulator (Pinkbatts.co.nz ). This method of Insulation is used inside various areas in a home. The first and most well known place is the space between the exterior wall and the interior wall of a home which is also known as a wall cavity. The air within the Batt would replace the usual air gap between the inner and outer walls making it harder for the heat within a house to escape (Gcsescience.com). It is also placed in the ceiling to help reduce the amount of heat that a home could lose and the amount of cold air that a home could receive. It also reduces the amount of heat transfer between the air outside and the heat in the air inside the home (EcoMaster). This method also involves using the two methods of heat transfer to our advantage. When the weather in Kodai is cold outside, Conduction, which is the transfer of heat between a solid object would cause the walls and windows to become more cold and would reduce the temperature in the inside as well. Hence, the Batt Insulation would be good at slowing down the heat transfer between the the warmer air inside a home and the outside colder air. This process would result to an overall warmer temperature inside a home. Also, the Batt Insulation would be good at blocking the warm air in the home from leaving and transferring heat to the cold air outside, Convection which is the transfer of heat between fluids (liquid and gases) would be used in this case, to our advantage. These two processes would enable the home to contain the thermal energy within a home for a longer time (How Insulation Prevents Heat Transfer).
This method is linked to the environmental and economic factors. The Batt Insulation method is related to the environmental factor as it has positive effects on the environment. This method would help in solving the discussed issue as there would be less of a need for furnaces in Kodai. This factor would also help the Kodai environment to become more clean and less infected with smoke pollution (Rubric). It is also related to the economic factor because the price to install the Batt Insulation is quite overpriced. It would cost about Rs. 20,600 to Rs. 40,000 for a complete Insulation for a 500 square feet home (Homewyse). As a result, this factor would create a barrier to solving the discussed issue.
The second method to insulate a typical Kodai Home without having to use a furnace is the Blow-in Insulation. This process is performed by using Fiberglass, Mineral wool and Cellulose Insulation. Fiberglass is made up of glass fibers that were spun. Mineral wool is made up of recycled waste such as rock or steel slag. Finally, Cellulose Insulation consists of recycled newspaper and cardboard. These insulating materials are all beneficial as they can withstand flame, insects, and more. The Blow-in Insulation process ensures that these substances are broken down into loose particles in the vacuum machine so that they could eventually be blown out on the area that requires Insulation (WiseGeek). This method of Insulation is really effective as the loose particles would be able to be blown into the smaller areas in an attic and the tiny gaps within a wall cavity and so, it is one of the most effective Insulation methods (Lowes’). This method also uses Convection and Conduction to our benefits. In this Kodai environment, Conduction would occur often as the cold air would conduct heat from the amount of heat in a home. As a result, the cold would affect the windows and walls of a home and without the Blow-in Insulation, the temperature of the home would gradually reduce. In Convection, the warm air that is contained in a typical Kodai home would try to transfer it’s heat with the cold air from the Kodai environment through ceilings, windows and walls. Without the Blow-in Insulation, the temperature in a home would be really cold as the uncontrolled flow of air would go back and forth between the home and the outside environment with ease. Therefore, the Blow-in Insulation would make sure that the walls do not allow the cold air to conduct heat from the inside of a Kodai home. It would also prevent the Convection process between the cold air outside and the warm air in a home from happening easily and the temperature in a home could be increased (How Insulation Prevents Heat Transfer).
This method is also linked to the environmental and economic factors. The Blown-in Insulation method is related to the environmental factor as it is beneficial to the environment. This method is what could be responsible for a Kodai that will no longer need furnaces to keep a home warm. This is because it would be able to successfully keep a sufficient amount of heat within a home and would also block off the cold air from entering a home at the same time (How Insulation Prevents Heat Transfer). This method is also related to the economic factor as it is quite expensive to carry out. Even though, this method is slightly cheaper, the price range to provide enough Insulation to cover a 500 square feet home would be about Rs. 20,700 to about Rs. 37,200 (Homewyse). Therefore, the environmental factor will help in solving the discussed issue however, the economic factor would create a barrier towards solving this problem.
Therefore, in conclusion to my research, both of the methods will be beneficial to the insulation of a typical Kodai home in order to get rid of a furnace and to keep the environment cleaner. However, the second method which is the Blow-in Insulation is more beneficial. The main reason is because the vacuum which is filled with loose particles made up of Fiberglass, Mineral wool and Cellulose would enable more Insulation as it would fill in small gaps and tiny spaces in the wall cavities, attic and so on (Lowes’). Overall, a typical Kodai home would also obtain more insulation as this method uses the two heat transferring methods, Conduction and Convection as great advantages. This method has the environmental factor as an advantage as it would help improve the general well-being of the Kodai environment. Although, this method has an economic disadvantage, it will still help people to have a less demand for furnaces. Hence, the Blow-in Insulation method is the most effective and efficient method that could be used to insulate a typical home in Kodai.
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