The "Original" Hot Box Test for Radiant Barriers & Foil Insulation

There is no better way to prove something than to demonstrate it. Many consumers are unaware of how their home works and what projects they can do to enhance their energy savings.

In the world of foil insulation and radiant barriers, the easiest, most profound example of the effectiveness of these insulation types is a heat flow or hot box test.

This test allows you to quickly understand how radiant heat works. It shows you how your home gains and loses heat and you can see the effectiveness of aluminum insulation as a heat stopping material. It also shows you must use more than common mass batt type insulations to have an effective, well insulated home.

Many companies demonstrate hot box tests and experiments. We have an online demonstration as well. In this spirit of helping consumers better understand how to insulate and save energy we would like to submit the "Original" Hot Box Test.

The original test is probably much older than you think, certainly before the days of watching them on the internet. The earliest one in mass was held at the Home Builders Show in 1950!

The Home Builder Show is the precursor to the modern day IBS or International Builder's Show started by the National Association of Home Builders or NAHB over 65 years ago. The IBS is the largest trade show in the world for light construction with miles of the most advanced building materials and services ever created.

In 1950, the show was held in the National Guard Armory in Washington, D.C from May 12th to May 21st. Heat flow tests were set up for the attendees for 10 days, 8 hours a day.

Here is some classic information that was pulled from the show, the "Original" Hot Box Test for Radiant Barriers. We hope you enjoy this collectable.

Original Insulation Hot Box Test

Here is some descriptive text that paraphrased the test event.

"Tests for UP-HEAT flow; including CONVECTION, RADIATION, and CONDUCTION, were made with 1 batt, 2 batts and 3 batts of semi-thick mineral wool insulation, and multiple sheets of accordion aluminum. Some of the aluminum tests were with open air-cells, others with closed or sealed air-cells. Dust was sprinkled on the aluminum. Similar test were made for DOWN HEAT flow and wall-heat flow.

In all tests, heat penetrated through the material wool insulation, which became uncomfortably warm to the touch also on the surface away from the heat/ whereas the accordion insulation did not permit the heat to pass during the entire 8 hours test each day, and the opposite surfaces remained cool to the touch. Both surfaces of mineral wool insulations remained warm even after the flow of heat to them was removed.

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