Insulation for the Basement

The purpose of this research was to test home insulation. We researched the effectiveness of insulation when placed inside or outside of a basement. To properly run this experiment, we constructed a miniature model basement, lined it with polystyrene insulation, and placed it inside another box that was constructed of wood and was filled with dirt. The outside box simulated ground outside the basement. In addition, we positioned a resistor inside the model basement, providing a heat source, much like a furnace in an actual home. This set-up effectively modeled an actual basement setting. We then placed the entire contraption inside a freezer to simulate cold ground around the home, and to provide a greater temperature difference. We recorded data for six hours, measuring the temperature inside the model basement and the voltage of the resistor. After we recorded the data, we examined it to find a specific amount of time that the resistor, or furnace, was active. This gave us a basis for comparison between the box with insulation inside and the box with insulation outside. When we compared the two numbers, we found that our hypothesis was incorrect, and the box with insulation outside was more effective in preventing heat loss than the box with insulation on the inside.

Research Done By:

Justine Hubert
Lake Shore

Ryan Smith