What is heat loss?
Heat loss is a measure of the total transfer of heat through the fabric of a building from inside to the outside, either from conduction, convection, radiation, or any combination of the these. This heat loss figure is normally given in either kilowatts (kW) or British Thermal Units (BTUs) and represents the energy required to keep a room at a given temperature on the coldest days.
Four types of heat loss
There are four avenues of heat loss: convection, conduction, radiation, and evaporation. If skin temperature is greater than that of the surroundings, the body can lose heat by radiation and conduction.
What is a heat loss calculation?
The general heat loss formula is: Q=U*A*ΔT, or in plain words, the heat loss of an area of size A is determined by the U value of the materials and the difference in temperature between inside and out (that is the difference in temperature of the two surfaces, not the two air temperatures, which might not be quite the same.)
Why is heat loss important?
The amount of heat loss is important for several reasons:
- Specifying the type of heating and power requirements to ensure the building is adequately heated
- Understanding whether the building meets regulatory approvals
- Determining whether or not comfort levels can be met for the occupants of the building
- Determining the energy requirements and running costs of the heating system
Above all, it is essential to understand the heat loss of a room or campus before installing thermal insulation as this will ensure that the heating system is able to provide adequate heat energy to your campus setting or industrial process.