The History of Insulation

None of us would be experiencing the life we have right now if it was not for the many innovations and inventions that have graced our history. It would have taken a few days to long months to get a message to someone, whereas now it takes one simple press of a button. There are now machines that you can command to adjust your room temperature. However, there are inventions that people often take for granted. One of which is the insulated roof panel. This is especially helpful in places like Brisbane, Australia.

Thermal insulation is a process of using certain materials for slowing down heat transfer. It is an old, maybe even ancient, concept. It could be traced back to Ancient Egypt. With the progression of climate change, using materials that help facilitate insulation to build your houses or buildings becomes crucial. This is because insulation works both ways. When the temperature is up, insulating materials reduce the entry of heat inside the house. During the cold season and you begin using heaters for your homes, the insulating material would prevent the interior heat from exiting.

After the Egyptians, the Greeks also discovered insulation in the components of asbestos. Though we now know the adverse effects that asbestos can have, the ancient Greeks were fascinated with the mineral’s capability to resist heat. Even the Vikings had a share in making insulation as we know it today. Located in lands where the cold weather dominated throughout the year, they innovated mud into plasters used against spaces between their buildings.

The Industrial Revolution pushed inventions and machinery forward which also equated to more steam power production. Insulating hot pipes were necessary both for the safety of the laborers and even for heat to be stored inside the material. At this point, the Roman’s cork pipe insulation won’t be helpful because of the advanced way of heat production. People then resorted to the use of asbestos which worked for quite a while. When they hit the mid-70’s, the mineral started affecting the workers’ health and led to a majority of producers to stop using it.

Fibreglass insulation installed in ceiling

Around the same time, double glazing became a trend among the United Kingdom’s middle to upper-class families. The invention of double glazing is believed to be a Scottish invention during the Victorian Era. However, C D Haven, an American, claims to have invented it. He coined it as “Thermopanes.”

Within the past three decades, a significant breakthrough in home insulations is incorporating polyurethane foams with the walls’ cavities. This filling allows for better insulation.

Besides effectively preventing heat from entering or exiting your home, using insulated, materials (i.e., roof panels, walls, etc.) have added benefits. Insulating your homes can also boost energy efficiency because it partially controls the temperature inside your home. This leads to reduced use of air conditioners and heaters, and when the time comes that you have to use them, they wouldn’t have to work hard. You will be contributing to environmental benefits as well as saving on some expenses. Lastly, the insulating material’s sturdier quality bestowed upon by its added layer for insulation will give you more protection. Again, this will help you cut back on some costs.

Humans have definitely come a long way in its pursuit of innovation, and it can be found in the little things that you wouldn’t notice at first glance such as your house’s insulation.

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