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How Does Insulation Work?

Insulation is a very clever instrument used to keep your home or commercial building a decent temperature. It helps keep your indoor space warm in the winter and cool in the summer, all while increasing your energy efficiency. But, how does it work?

Insulation in your home or office space provides resistance to heat flow. The more heat flow resistance your insulation provides, the lower your heating and cooling costs and the more comfortable you will be.

To understand how insulation works it helps to understand heat flow, which involves three basic mechanisms—conduction, convection and radiation.


Conduction is the way heat moves through materials, such as when you hold a piece of ice in your hand and it begins to melt. This happens because heat is being conducted from your hand to the ice cube.


Convection is the way heat circulates through liquids and gases, and is why lighter, warmer air rises, and cooler, denser air sinks in your home. Think of it like this: a hot air balloon uses heat to move upwards. When hot air from the heater gets trapped inside the balloon, it floats; when the heater is turned off, cool air takes its place and the balloon descends.


Radiant heat travels in a straight line and heats anything solid in its path that absorbs its energy. A campfire’s heat, LED lights, lasers and sunlight are all forms of radiation.

Regardless of the mechanism, heat flows from warmer to cooler areas until there is no longer a temperature difference. This means that in the summer, heat enters the home, and during the winter, heat exits the home. To maintain comfort, the heat lost in the winter must be replaced by your heating system and the heat gained in the summer must be removed by your cooling system.

You don’t want your heating and cooling systems to work against the natural transfer of heat through these mechanisms. And, the best way to prevent this is to insulate your space.

Insulation helps your heating and cooling systems run easier by redirecting the transfer of heat accordingly, which can save you money on your energy bills and keep you more comfortable!

Call Installed Building Products Tulsa for Your Insulation Needs

Whether you need to insulate a new home or re-insulate your current home in the Tulsa, OK region, look no further. As a part of the Installed Building Products family of companies, IBP Tulsa offers the knowledge, experience and resources that few companies can match.

Have questions about insulation? Want to schedule an installation or retrofit project today? Contact the experts at IBP Tulsa!  

Residential Insulation

We offer a wide assortment of insulation products to suit your specific needs.

Commercial Insulation

We insulate metal buildings, warehouses and other commercial properties.


No matter your gutter needs, the IBP Tulsa team has you covered.

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