- Kristian Stoyanov
How Does Insulation Rating Work?
R-value is how every insulation’s heat flow resistance is measured. The higher the R-value, the more effective the used material is at preventing heat transfer. R-value is short for Resistance value and is used for windows as well.
When it comes to R-value, a higher one isn’t certainly the best fit for your needs. When installing insulation in your home, professionals also pay attention to your location. This factor determines the climate changes in your area and is used to select what type of material you’d need.
Each material has its pros and cons and a different R-value. This article will guide you through the most appropriate choice of insulation for your home. Get to know how each one functions and what their purpose is as they can be confusing.
How important is R-value?
The R-value is different with each material you use for home insulation. This rating correlates with the thickness of the used material and is a calculation of its resistance to heat. Keep in mind that the R-value means thermal endurance, not a lifetime quality rating.
Many factors can cause your insulation to deteriorate, such as the age of the insulation material, compression and settling, extreme changes in temperature, moisture buildup, animal activity, and the use of new insulation on top of an old one.
The changes in R-value depend on external factors. By itself, the quality of installation is more important than the value advertised on the packaging.
Homeowners can run into a ton of problems if they try to do the process themselves, so it’s often worth hiring a professional when you upgrade your home insulation. Leaving gaps or adding too much insulation material will decrease resistance to heat.
Hiring a specialist will ensure that the R-value is spread equally around the house and will achieve efficiency and comfort.
Types of Insulation
As already mentioned, R-value varies with the type of insulation used. The recommended R-values for home insulation are R-19 for basement walls and crawl spaces, a minimum of R-13 for exterior walls, and R-49 for attics. When choosing a material, you should consider your budget as well. The higher the R-value, the more expensive the material is.
Affordable and reliable, fiberglass is resistant to fire and moisture buildup. It is the most common material for insulating homes, and it’s often installed as batts and rolls.
The most important factor is installation, as poorly installed fiberglass is ineffective. Fiberglass has a lower R-value compared to other options.
Mineral Wool insulation is made from recycled industrial materials such as slag, rock, or glass. Similarly to fiberglass, it can be installed in batts or as a blow-in material.
The strongest point of this material is its resistance to fire. It is also used as an effective sound dampener. However, it has poor moisture resistance. This would be a problem if you live in a place where the climate is wetter.
If that’s the case with you, avoid this material, or you’d risk mold growing in your insulation. If you live in a usually dry place, this would not be a problem for you.
Cellulose is sustainable and it’s made from recycled paper. It’s a loose-fill material that is blown into wall cavities and has fire resistance.
Compared to fiberglass, cellulose has a higher R-value, and its price is competitive as well. Sadly, this insulation material settles over time and degrades when exposed to moisture
The best material for insulation in the market is undoubtedly polyurethane foam. The spray foam has the highest R-value of any other option, and it’s air and moisture-resistant.
Sprayed into the walls of your home, it expands to fill the tiniest holes possible. It also has a long lifetime, ensuring that your insulation would last long.
Although spray foam tends to be more expensive than other options, it’s important to consider the cost of installation with what you’ll save on energy in the long term.
Contact us for an Insulation Upgrade
Upgrading your insulation can be a challenging task. Trying to perform it by yourself can lead to a lot of time spent, a big mess, and minimal improvements.
With YourHomeFix, you can avoid these problems and feel confident in a professional solution to your problem. We can contact you with insulation experts who will tailor the process following your budget.