Energy-Efficient Insulation – Understanding R-Value

R-values and energy-efficient insulation

Could you benefit from installing energy-efficient insulation? Unless your home was built with an eye toward optimal efficiency, insulating it further could be the ideal way to improve your household comfort and bring down your heating and cooling bills.

When you start looking into energy-efficient insulation, you’ll see that each product has an R-Value. To find out what this rating means and how it plays into the decision on how to insulate your home, read on.

What is R-Value?

R-value is a measurement of thermal resistance, or the ability to prevent heat transfer and air escape. Each type of insulation has its own rating, and the higher the number, the better the product performs.

The thermal resistance of any given type of insulation depends upon the product’s thickness and density as well as the material. In some cases, temperature, age and moisture accumulation factor into the rating.

What Insulation R-Value Do You Need?

Different areas of the country have different climates, so the recommended insulation rating for energy efficiency depends upon where you live. In addition, the amount needed varies based upon the part of the home you’re insulating.

According to the experts at Energy Star, homes in Utah, Idaho and Wyoming require roughly the same level of insulating material. For the attic, a level between R49 and R60 is best. The floor needs between R25 and R30, and when retrofitting the walls, homeowners should add R5 to R6 insulation.

What Insulation R-Value Do You Have?

Before adding new energy-efficient insulation, you need to figure out the R-value of the insulating material you already have in place. The amount you need will vary, depending upon the previous installation.

You can check the level yourself, but the easiest way to determine your insulation needs is through a home energy audit. Look for a contractor that specializes in residential energy efficiency improvements – like GreenHome Specialties – as their assessment will reveal which areas of your home require air sealing. Experts say sealing air leaks is essential for optimal insulation performance.

What Insulation R-Value Should You Install?

Thermal resistance ratings are important, but simply following the Energy Star guidelines isn’t the best way to choose insulation. Their recommendations are general, and your needs may differ.

The insulation R-value that’s right for your home will depend upon not just the local climate, but also on the type of heating and cooling system you have, the orientation of your home, the shading on your property and a host of other factors.

If you’re planning to install energy-efficient insulation, your best bet is to seek the advice of an expert local contractor. In northern Utah, southern Idaho and Wyoming, homeowners trust GreenHome Specialties.

Our highly-skilled team has the knowledge and experience to properly insulate your home – and we can recommend a cost-effective approach. Contact GreenHome Specialties in Provo or Layton, Utah, and schedule a free home energy audit to discuss energy-efficient insulation installation today.

 

 

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