Schottenbauer Publishing

Saturday, August 1, 2015

The Heating Differential of Multi-Level Housing

Everyone knows that heat rises, and cool air sinks. But it is obvious only in very extreme weather that these well-known facts affect dwellings with more than one floor. Frigid basements and hot second floors are inefficient, resulting in high electric bills. Consider the following graph, excerpted from The Science of Home Construction from Schottenbauer Publishing.

Discussion Questions
  1. What is the temperature at the basement floor?
  2. What is the temperature at the first floor ceiling?
  3. What is the difference in temperature between basement floor and first floor ceiling?
  4. Why is the graph not a continuous curve?
  5. Is is possible for the information provided to identify temperature at any other vertical height?
  6. Redraw the graph, plotting all known points as vertical height (x-axis) versus temperature (y-axis).
  7. If the thermometer is on the first floor, approximately at shoulder height, what might the temperature measurement be? If necessary, include a range such as 20±2. (Note: The basement has a ceiling height of 10' and the first floor has a ceiling height of 8'.)

Additional graphs such as the one above can be found in the book series The Science of Home Construction from Schottenbauer Publishing.

Schottenbauer Publishing offers over 8,000 graphs on real-life topics for student learning, collected into topic areas including sports, transportation, construction, environment, music, entertainment/toys, and general physics. 

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