Columbus Roofing: Article About Insulation R Values
Insulation plays a key role in a home's energy efficiency. It helps to keep cool air inside the house during hot months and warm air inside the house during the cool months. When installing new insulation, there are several important things to consider. For example, the amount of insulation needed, what insulation type to choose and, very importantly, what R value the insulation should have.
R value is the measure of how well a piece of insulation resists conductive heat flow. The greater the R value, the greater the heat resistance. R value is measured by the inch, meaning that it indicates how well the product insulates per inch of thickness. Different types and densities of insulation have different R values. An insulation contractor from a Columbus roofing company can suggest what kinds of insulation are best for specific climates.
Pink fiberglass insulation is perhaps the most highly recognizable insulation type. It is available in batts or as a loose fill and has an R value ranging from 3.0 to 3.7.
Mineral fiber has a brown color and an R value that ranges from 2.8 to 3.7. Compared to pink fiberglass, mineral fiber is better at soundproofing and resisting heat.
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Foam insulation has the highest R values currently available on the market. Rigid foam is used in many applications such as soundproofing and garage door maintenance. Its R value is 6.5 to 6.7, and its dual foil surfaces make it useful as a reflective barrier, causing a reduction in radiant heat gain.
Spray foam insulation has the highest R value, up to 6.8. It expands quickly and is often used in the construction of new homes.
EnergyStar recommends different R values for insulating homes in different areas of the country. For example, to insulate an uninsulated wooden attic in very warm parts of the country, like southern Georgia, Texas, Florida and Arizona, insulation with R values of 3.9 to 4.1 are recommended. In the same scenario, northern states would require R values of 4.9 to 6.
Different areas of the home require different degrees of insulation also. For example, insulation in walls and floors only needs to have roughly half the R value of attic insulation. Basement wall insulation requires slightly less than that.
The R value needed also depends on the main heat source in the home. Homes heated with natural gas, an oil furnace, or a heat pump; require insulation with an R value of no more than 3.8. For LPG furnaces, electric furnaces, or electric baseboard heaters, the R value can go up to 4.9.