Insulating Our Homes
The purpose of this investigation was to determine if bio-degradable materials, such as leaves or dirt, could insulate well. This was accomplished by running a Statistical Design of Experiment which found the change in temperature through one wall of a model house. The factors in the experiment were the materials used, the outer temperature, and the position of the wall. The result of this experiment was that dirt seems to have a better insulating value than leaves, and that the temperature and position should have less of an effect on the inside temperature change. Because the change in temperature was more rapid when the material they tested faced the heat source, Toth and Kamen have determined that although dirt appears to insulate better than leaves, neither appear to have a better insulating value than the fiberglass that they used to insulate the other five walls. Thus, the materials they tested would be less effective, yet they ahve the benefit of being inexpensive and recyclable.
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