Insulation R-Value: What You Need to Know

Homeowners know they need to insulate their home, but many don’t fully understand the qualities of insulation and how it’ll perform in the area they live. Insulation r-value is one of the most important features to take note of when deciding to insulate your home.

insulation r value

The r-value of insulation is an industry measurement that lets you know it’s energy efficient, which is important for saving money on energy bills.

We’ll go over everything you need to know about insulation r-value so you can make the best decision for your home.

What is R-Value?

As we stated, r-value is a measurement that helps calculate the energy efficiency of insulation but there’s more to know about it to truly get a solid understanding.

Insulation r-value is the measurement of thermal resistance, or how well it can resist heat flow. In other words, it’s how well the insulation can keep heat from leaving your home.

The higher r-value that insulation has, the more energy efficient it is. This is especially important to pay attention to when deciding to insulate your attic.

How Insulation R-Value is Measured

While you’ll probably never have to determine the r-value of insulation yourself, it’s good to know how it’s obtained. The “r” represents a material’s resistance to heat, or its thickness.

In order to get the r-value, you must take the change in temperature and multiply it by the area and time. Once that number is calculated, you divide it by the heat loss and the final result is the insulation r-value.

The written formula looks like this: R = ▲T/Q or R = (▲Temp x Area x Time) / Heat Loss. To make your life easier, companies already provide you with the r-value of a product upfront.

Why Is Insulation R-Value Important?

Now that you know what r-value is and how it’s determined, why is it so important? There are many reasons why understanding r-value can benefit you as a homeowner.

Nowadays, energy efficiency is in the forefront of people’s minds whenever they’re deciding to take on a home improvement project. Anything that helps you save money is something worth looking into, and insulation r-value can definitely help you with that.

According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), heating and cooling costs make up 50-70% of energy use in the average US household.

If your attic’s insulation isn’t adequate for the area you live in, you’ll be wasting a ton of energy because your heated and cooled air will be escaping through your roof. That should be reason enough to pay attention to r-value when insulating your home.

Types of Insulation

There are many types of insulation available and each have different r-values associated with them. Knowing which types are better than others can help you quickly narrow the list to choose from for your home.

The most common types of insulation are fiberglass, cellulose and foam. All of which can be applied in different methods such as blown-in, rolls, sprayed and boards.

Blown-in fiberglass insulation has become increasingly popular because it performs extremely well and is easily installed. Its insulation properties and high quality can’t be beat.

Unlike some of the other insulation materials, fiberglass doesn’t decay, absorb moisture or settle, giving you long-lasting insulation.

Getting the Right Insulation R-Value

Depending on where you live, there are different levels of r-value that are more suitable for your home. A common mistake made is when homeowners have insufficient insulation r-values for their area.

According to the Department of Energy, homes in the Chicagoland area should use attic insulation with at least an r-value of 38 to be considered energy efficient.

Anything lower than that will end up costing you extra money every month because your heating and cooling appliances will have to work harder to keep your home at your desired temperature.

When you choose Early Times for your attic insulation, you’ll be getting premium blown-in fiberglass insulation that has an r-value of 49, which is the recommended level by Energy Star for the Chicagoland area.

R-Value in Other Products

Attic insulation isn’t the only product that uses r-value to determine energy efficiency. Windows, doors, exterior cladding and roofing materials all use r-value to help determine how well they’ll insulate your home.

As with attic insulation, the higher r-value that these products have, the better they’ll perform. Make sure you ask for the product’s r-value before purchasing if it’s not shown upfront.

Insulation R-Value Shouldn’t Be Overlooked

In today’s home improvement world, saving energy and money is more important than ever. In some cases, it’s the most important thing that people consider when purchasing products and services for their home.

Understanding the r-value of insulation will help you in your quest to get the best insulation for your home. To make your choice even easier, that’s where Early Times comes into play.

For over 30 years, we’ve been helping homeowners in the Chicagoland area make their homes safer and more energy efficient. When you need new attic insulation, we’re the best option.

We’ll even remove any and all of your old insulation before we install our premium blown-in insulation.

With an insulation r-value that exceeds what the Department of Energy says is efficient for Chicago, our attic insulation will keep your home comfortable better than anyone else can.

You can start your new insulation project today by getting a free quote online to join the thousands of homeowners who trust Early Times.

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