For most people, the insulation in their homes is there to make their lives more comfortable, with little else beyond that. This is not entirely true. Insulation plays a more significant role than this in ways that might not be immediately visible. Effective insulation will reduce your carbon footprint, keep your energy bills low, and increase your home’s value.
If you’re carrying out repairs, renovations, or new insulation projects on your property, you need to determine the best insulation type for you. The effectiveness of insulation is measured in terms of its R-value. The higher the R-value of a home, the less heat it will lose to the environment through its walls, roof, and loft spaces. To help you determine the best R-value of insulation for your property, you need to know how it works and how to get the most out of it.
What Does the R-Value of Insulation Signify?
The R-value of insulation denotes the level of resistance a material has to the flow of heat for each inch of death it has. This means that the higher the R-value of a material, the more effective it will be in providing insulation. R-values typically range from R10, often used in floor insulation, and R60, commonly used in attic insulation.
While insulating materials with low R-values might seem ineffective, it’s possible to significantly boost their effectiveness by applying them in multiple layers. For example, two layers of R10 insulation will provide as much insulation as a denser R20 material.
What is the Best R-Value of Insulation for Your Home?
The United States of America covers a large geographic area with vast distances, and different parts of the country experience different weather patterns. Because of this, the United States Department of Energy sets a guideline indicating the minimum insulation R-values for the country’s diverse climate zones. The official Department of Energy’s climate-based insulation R-value map is here.
For instance, people in some of the country’s southern states are directed to install insulation with a minimum R-value of R30 and R60 for their attics and between R13 and R19 for their floors. For those in states located further north, it’s recommended that R49 to R60 insulation is put in the attic, with R25 to R30 insulation for the floors.
According to the United States Department of Energy, 90 percent of homes in the country are not sufficiently insulated. Because of this, most people experience higher energy and utility bills than they should. Adding or replacing your insulation with more effective insulation will seal any air leaks and save you money.
Which Materials Provide the Best R-Value?
The primary culprit in heat loss in a home is the attic or roof. Heat tends to rise upwards, and the top of any home tends to be the most exposed to cold weather elements. Thanks to these factors, properly insulating your attic is the most effective way to optimize your home’s energy utilization.
You must pick out the best insulating material for the job to achieve the best results. Different materials have different R-values, so you should consider this when choosing. The general guide is as follows:
- Rigid Insulation Boards: Foam board or continuous insulation is ranked as the most effective insulation material and generally consists of expanded foam compounds between two fixed panels. It has a high R-value for each inch of insulation.
- Batts and Rolls: This is also referred to as blanket insulation and is most commonly used in floors, ceilings, and unfinished walls. It typically comes in precise widths corresponding with the most prevalent stud lengths in the United States (4 or 6 feet). This type of insulation has a low R-value per inch.
- Spray Foam Insulation: This is also known as Foamed-in-Place insulation and comes in a liquid form that solidifies into place once it is applied. This malleable quality makes it a popular choice in projects with increased insulation in existing buildings. It has a medium R-value for each inch of insulation.
- Blown-in or Loose-fill Insulation: This type of insulation is loosely bound free particulates and can be used in new and existing buildings. It has a low R-value for each inch of insulation.
It’s essential to remember that no two cases will be exactly alike when it comes to home insulation. In consultation with your contractor, you must evaluate your home’s design, the climate in your area, your budget parameters, and so on when choosing the proper insulation for your property.
If you ever need expert insulation and roofing services in Charleston, South Carolina, make Trico Exteriors your first choice for expert, experienced, cost-effective, and friendly services. Call us today – you won’t regret it!