Thermal ballast (or whatever it's called!)

  • Thread starter hollowman
  • Start date
  • #1
hollowman
23
6
During weather-based heat waves or cold snaps, a completely sealed house with all windows/doors shut (but using no HVAC, heating-ventilation-AC) will take "a while" to cool down or heat up. If the heat wave or cold snap is quick (e.g., 24 hrs), a resident inside the house will experience almost no change in temperature. On the other hand, if the wave or snap is long, after it's over, it'll take the sealed house some time to equalize with the normal outdoor temp.
I'm not talking about air flow here; rather, it's the "capacity" for objects in the house (furniture, etc) to "hold" heat/cold.

In physics (thermodynamics, etc.) what is this "holding capacity" called?

It's not latent heat, as that requires state change.
I've heard some refer to it as thermal ballast -- a term that is not formally described in any textbook.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
.Scott
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
3,085
1,289
Thermal mass.

Also, sealing up a house will keep it cool in a hot snap only if there are no heat sources (like people or hot water use) in the home.
 
  • #3
hollowman
23
6
Thermal mass.

Also, sealing up a house will keep it cool in a hot snap only if there are no heat sources (like people or hot water use) in the home.
Thermal mass .. yes!
Wiki categorizes this first under HVAC ... maybe why I couldn't find it (I was looking under Thermodynamics) .
Wiki does relate TM to heat capacity, which is covered extensively.
About interior sources of heat ... besides people/pets, hot water and cooking stuff, my biggies are computers and fridge. Lighting is mostly LED, so nonissue ;)
 

Suggested for: Thermal ballast (or whatever it's called!)

  • Last Post
Replies
5
Views
306
Replies
2
Views
231
Replies
17
Views
532
  • Last Post
Replies
15
Views
438
Replies
2
Views
795
Replies
0
Views
198
Replies
3
Views
320
Replies
23
Views
562
  • Last Post
Replies
5
Views
462
Top