Understanding R-Value: How It Affects Your Home’s Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is an important topic for the modern homeowner. By taking steps to make your home as efficient as possible, you can save money on your utilities and do a favor for the environment at the same time. Insulation is a big part of the efficiency picture, and R-value is an important measurement of efficiency for that insulation. While this topic can get quite technical, the article below will keep things simple and help you understand why this is so important and what you can do about it.

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What is R-value?

The ability of insulation to control the heat transfer in your home is measured by R-value. When you add insulation to a building, the goal is to minimize how much heat moves from inside to outside, or vice versa. So, when it is cold outside, you want the insulation to prevent that cold from coming in. The same is true in the summer, as good insulation can limit the impact that outdoor heat has on your space.

Of course, not all insulation products are the same, which is why R-value is such a valuable piece of information. Using the R-value of an insulation product, you can determine if it is a suitable option for your needs, based on where that insulation will be used and how thick it will be. On the low end of the range, you will find insulation around R13, while products up around R30 and beyond will provide far more insulative ability.

It’s Not That Simple

Just looking at the stated R-value on a type of insulation will help you understand what that product can do, but that’s only one piece of the puzzle. You also need to think about how thick the insulation is going to be once installed. R-value only determines the insulating ability of a one-inch thickness, and you can multiply the power of the insulation by making it thicker. So, a product that rated at R15 when it is an inch think would offer R45 insulation if it was installed to a thickness of three inches. Insulation in attic spaces is often layered because there is more space in an attic as compared to the inside of a wall.

A Big Difference

Having proper insulation in your home can make a huge difference in how your HVAC system performs. Poor insulation will lead to excessive heat transfer between inside and outside, meaning your heating or cooling is going to have to work harder than it would otherwise to achieve the same effect. It’s the combination of great insulation and quality HVAC equipment that will lead to the comfortable, efficient space that you’d like to create. Reach out to Berico today to learn more.