R-Values: Why Do They Matter in Energy Efficiency?

Man installing the insulationsWhenever you discuss insulation with your neighbours, you always encounter the term ‘R-value’. You would hear statements, such as a roof with R-30 value and a wall with R-19 value. However, you never understood what it meant for your new home insulation.

Defining R-Value

Basically, R-value calculates thermal resistance or its capacity to inhibit heat transfer. Massive numbers mean your insulation is working harder to prevent heat conduction. If you want to lower your utility bills, reduce heat loss.

Consider R-value in this situation: You take a blow torch and light it against a piece of tin foil. When you touch the other side of the foil, you feel its heat. Now, when you light that blow torch against a wall-board and touch its other side, you would feel its warmth. This means that it will not get hot as quickly as the tin foil. With this scenario in mind, you will observe that wall-board has a greater R-value compared to the tin foil. This is mainly due to having a better thermal break.

The Required R-Value

Most houses built with 3×4 walls have R-13 insulation. Meanwhile, newer houses employed smarter guidelines by integrating 2×6 walls with R-19 insulation. A bigger cavity offers more space for a thicker thermal barrier. For roofs, R-30 or R-40 is the standard value.

Improving R-Value with Insulation

Home insulation will help improve the R-value of your home and help save energy no matter what air-sealing efforts you already employed. Make sure to choose the insulation wisely — aim for higher standards and think beyond R-value.

Now that you understand what R-value is and know how to improve it, it is high time that you integrate it in your household. The insulation fees that you spend here will be worth it considers the finances you will save on your utility bills for the long run.