What Native Americans Teach Us about Energy Efficiency and Thermal Insulation
By Bogdan Grebenyuk, Product Manager at Thermevo
on June 26, 2018
Natives Americans Learned How to Build Homes from Nature
Several Native American tribes built "pit houses". A "pit house" was a very simple design that illustrates what Native Americans learned from nature. They are created by building a home that is sunk into the ground. Consider the energy efficiency of these homes. They don't need any insulation to be added to them. Nature itself provides the insulation. The earth is able to keep this home both heated and cool, throughout the year.
We Are Only Recently Realizing The Importance of Energy Efficiency
It is human nature to stay in our comfort zone. We are very resistant to change until our current situation becomes too uncomfortable. That is exactly why many people are just now getting interested in energy efficiency. Also, the ever rising cost of energy is making people more aware of energy efficiency. The US Department of Energy reports that the average family spends $3052 per year, per person on energy. A large portion of this is spent to heat and cool our homes.
Energy Efficiency is Tied To Thermal Insulation.
We realize it is not feasible for everyone to build underground homes. For example, high rise condos or apartments simply would not be feasible underground. But, it is feasible for us to learn from them. What we see in the Native American pit homes is the importance of insulation.
Over the last several decades, construction material manufacturers have made great strides in the variety of insulation available and what it is made out of.
There are many benefits of thermal insulation for comfort living, energy efficiency and conservation. Thermevo provides insulation inside the windows that eliminate Thermal Bridges. A thermal bridge is when different types of construction materials and/or architecture create areas of temperature instability. For example, a balcony funnels air to a window. This funneling pulls both cold and warm air from the area around it. This makes the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) unit work harder. By installing windows that include proper insulation to eliminate thermal bridges you decrease wear and tear on the HVAC unit, reduce your energy bills, and even help reduce greenhouse gases and CO2 emissions.
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