We quote the abstract from Nikita’s report, which is below, to remove any ambiguity as to why a 9th grader might be interested in the performance of insulation:
“Energy efficiency is a major contributing factor to climate change, the number one issue facing the world today…..it is estimated that 90% of US homes are under-insulated, which results in unnecessary electricity production, causing the release of harmful gasses and a rise in climate change.”
Interpretation: insulation is ~2% of a construction budget. A slight increase in overall expenditure that allows for natural fibers to be employed as insulation over low-integrity imitations can have a gigantic impact on our world.
We’ve little interest in taking away from Nikita’s report and therefore encourage you to click on the link at the bottom and take a quick read. In advance the following highlights are worth noting:
American electricity consumption:
In homes, 50% of electricity usage is heating and cooling making it paramount to use efficient materials so as to reduce consumption.
The inefficiency of insulation materials can lead to many environmental issues, economic problems, and negative effects on an individual’s health.
Summary of Nikita’s efforts:
- 10 model homes with different insulation materials were subjected to heating and cooling cycles used to replicate the changes of a typical home.
- Independent variable: type of insulation
- Dependent variable: temperature in the home after 30-minute intervals of heating and cooling
- Cold tests consisted of placing each model home in a refrigerator set to 20 degrees F and measuring results every 5 minutes over a 30-minute test period.
- Hot temperature tests were conducted similarly in an oven at 120 degrees F.
- Each model was tested 3 times.
For those of you who enjoy statistical analysis please click the report below and see p. 12. In sum, the data supports the notion that the alternative hypothesis had statistical significance over the null hypothesis.
Translation: there is enough deviation from the mean to suggest that these tests are valid and should be considered. To that end, we’ll again quote Nikita in closing:
While looking at the bigger picture, the researcher’s performed experiment could be applied to the world. Harmful gasses, such as carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide, are produced as people try to keep their homes cool or heated by producing electricity. Using materials such as Thick Havelock and Hemp Wool, could help decrease the effects of climate change, and potentially reduce one’s electricity bills.