Does Higher R-Value Mean Higher Energy Efficiency?
Insulation plays a vital role in leveraging the balance in the thermal condition of houses. But what makes this material do its job? It is the R-value of the insulation that determines its efficiency. This in turn determines the efficiency of your home. R-value is an equally important factor when it comes to types of insulation, perhaps the most important factor. However, there are several questions to ask before you choose an R-value of the insulation for your home- How much R-value is right? Which part of the home needs a higher R-value? Which region or climate requires more R-value? Celluloseman aims at not only providing insulation services but also answering these questions for you.
What is R-Value and how does it work?
R-value is the ability of insulation material to resist heat flow and is used as a commercial identification for buying insulation materials. R-values can vary depending on the heat flow direction through the product. – Science Direct
R-Value means Resistance Value. The most common phrase is ‘the higher the R-value, the better the effectiveness of the material’. It depends on the type of insulation, density, or thickness of the material. Whereas some insulations depend on temperature, moisture accumulation, and ageing. Resistance value becomes the most important factor in an insulation material as it determines the efficiency and effectiveness of the material in controlling the heat flow and preventing heat conduction.
R-value differs with differing materials. Every insulating material has its own unique resistance value per unit length. Most insulating products in countries like Canada are labeled with R and RSI values for new constructions. Provincial building codes follow the specification of minimum R or RSI values.
R-values can be calculated for the building components like walls, floors, ceilings, and roofs with R1.5, R2.5, and R2.5 respectively. Adhering to the house location and climate condition different R-values are recommended by the BCA, (Thermofluid Modeling for Energy Efficiency Applications)
Why is R-Value Important?
Every homeowner desires to have a comfortable home in terms of thermal conditioning. As the crux of good insulation is its effectiveness which is determined by its resistance value. Saving your energy bills is important and factors like R-value becomes significant. Awareness about the R-value of your insulation can effectively enhance the power and give you a good deal of cost-effective and energy-saving options. It can be a long term solution to have your home well-insulated with considerable R-value.
Your home requires different R-values in different areas. From walls, crawlspace to attics, you need to check the R-value confining to the building codes and other requirements. Typically, for exterior walls, R-13 to R-23 is recommended. For ceilings and attic spaces, R-30 and R-60 are commonly recommended depending on the structure. Having the right R-value helps in energy conservation.
How to increasing your R-Value
What to do to get the right R-value for your home? How much R-value is required in which area of the house? While consulting an expert is highly recommended, here are a few steps you can follow to help yourself get the appropriate value in your insulation materials.
- Choosing the insulation
It is important to know which insulation goes where and has how much R-value. Commonly, fiberglass insulation, cellulose insulation, and foam board are found in the market today. Foam board has higher R-values even though it falls on a more expensive side. Spray foam is easily and readily available for those DIYers. Cellulose is eco-friendly and is a better choice for those who are more environment-centric.
- Higher Values
Generally, walls with R-20 and roof with R-30 or R-60 is recommended in a few studies. Some of the houses, depending on the location and climate condition may require a higher R-value. In such cases, homeowners can shoot up to R-30 for walls and R-60 for attics. Regardless of the studies, consulting an expert can be considered.
- Other factors
Homes need to be a safe and comfortable space. Exploring your options with R-values and beyond is always taken into account. There are different ways to prevent the heat transfer and improve the enveloping of the building and roof to prevent radiation and convection. This can be achieved by various other options along with the right R-values and insulation materials.
Higher R-value or Lower R-value?
Although, a higher R-value is mostly recommended and considered significant. However, the more important point is the three-factor pyramid.
Climate Condition: In some countries, there is a huge difference between temperature during summer and winter. Such a difference needs a higher R-value. On the contrary, countries with lesser differences require a lower R-value.
Construction Materials: The materials that go into the construction have a direct link with R-values. Where the insulation is put, when was the home built and using what materials and other such factors have an impact. Insulation materials have different uniqueness and requirements. This varies along with the R-values. The values will be either higher or lower according to the construction materials.
Construction Style: The style of construction has been evolving and changing over the period. Homes built a decade ago and the new ones have differences. Architectural styles, materials, climate, and land, all these elements differ. With that, elements of home differ too. This casts an impact on the higher or lower value. There are building codes today and some of them are environment-centric.
Which R-value to Choose?
As per varying requirements, it can be confusing to choose an R-value by yourself. There are certain categories and codes for buildings in different areas. Factors like region and climate have a bigger impact on determining the R-value. With huge differences in countries, the R-value changes. While some require a lower R-value, most of them require a higher R-value for the density that keeps the heat flow intact from the inside and outside.
The most preferable solution to this is consulting an insulation expert. Experts have experience and better knowledge about climatic zones and on-going building codes as well. This can provide you and your home better guidance in terms of the right R-value. It is important to consult an expert for R-value just how expertise is required in building homes.
Celluloseman- your R-value guide
Celluloseman has a team of experts who are experienced in this arena of insulation removal and insulation installation. Our experts thoroughly examine homes and recommend the appropriate insulation with the right R-value. Experts provide services, from installing insulations to taking care of the R-value to removal as well. If you are hazy about the right guidance, Celluloseman is just one call away.