October 24, 2005

Curious George: Is Rockwool more insulating than an air gap? As winter's cold tentacles creep into my house and penetrate me with icy determination, my thoughts also turn to insulation.
  • I've got a window facing a main road that's got a sort of double glazing. It's not sealed though, the outer window is an old fashioned slide open one. This window never needs to be opened, so I'm thinking of sealing all the edges on the inner and outer panes with that V Tape. I'm also thinking of stuffing rockwool insulation into the gap. I have the curtains drawn most of the time anyway as people can see in, and it might cut down the road sound. I don't know if rockwool will be a better insulator (for heat) than just an air gap if I seal the edges better. Anyone know the answer?
  • Yes, pretty much anything would be better than an air gap. From what I've seen from watching This Old House my whole life is that if the game between the windows is more than a quarter of an inch or so (half a centimeter?) then convection will occur. Most sealed double glazed windows are actually filled with a gas other than air and some have plastic in between the panes to further break up the air gap. I would also say, and this is just an educated guess, that while air is a good insulator, glass isn't so the advantage of insulatoin would be that it would break up the air so it couldn't transfer the heat from one pane of glass to the other.
  • I just wrap myself in lusty wenches. Seems to keep me warm pretty well.
  • jccalhoun is right...still air is a good insulator, but moving air (convection) is one of the worst insulators. In fact, it's a very good conductor of heat. Wool-type insulation actually uses air as the insulating medium, but it's trapped by the wool to keep it from moving. Blue Horse's suggestion from the other thread sounds like a good one for your situation.
  • Nice one. I can bung a plastic sheet on the outer window, seal it all up, insulate the cavity and plastic the inside. Once I'm wenched I won't feel a thing.
  • Don't ask me, I keep warm by spending my winters inside a sheep.
  • Rockwool was good, but I preferred James Garner in "Maverick".
  • mmmmm double-glazed . . aahhgghhggh
  • aerogel is your prefered insulation. Horribly expensive, though.
  • "this might smell bad kid, but it'll keep you warm..." What about that spray foam stuff?