Cool air sinks, and warm air rises. Warm air will always move to the top of a
Upward-sloping roof angles can move air to vents at the top of the home, away
from the living area.
Moving air cools. Breezes through a home can cool it. Fans and windows
positioned in certain areas can cause cross breezes that enable cooling.
Heat capacity of water:
Water has a higher specific heat capacity than air, which means that it will absorb
more energy than air to increase in temperature by the same amount, and it will
lose energy (heat) more slowly than the air around it. Air moved over cool or
warm bodies of water will cool and warm accordingly.
Underground pools of water can cool air blown over them and direct it into a
Insulation is layers of materials that trap heat. Good insulation in walls, ceilings,
and roofs can trap heat inside during the winter and keep heat from entering
during the summer.
Double-paned windows increase insulation.
Vents can be louvered, which means they can have moving slats or blinds that
can be opened to let air through or closed to keep air in or out.
Some choices in home materials (for example, flooring tiles instead of carpet)
trap heat, while others readily transfer heat.
In this lab, you will be researching some of these ideas and then modeling how some of these
factors affect the heating and cooling of a home. First, you will build a home without any of these
energy-saving improvements. Then you will change your home design to be more
energy-efficient. You will test both homes and evaluate their energy efficiency by measuring
temperature changes in each when they are exposed to a warming source of light.