We all know that insulation helps make our homes warm. But why? And how? The secret to the success of insulation is simple. The R-value! But what is r-value and how does you home achieve the right the r-factor insulation?
What is R Factor Insulation?
First, we understand that home insulation works by blocking external air from entering your home. For example, during the winter, insulation keeps the cold Capital District air outside. At the same time, insulation keeps the warm (heated) air inside your home.
As a result, proper insulation installation remains imperative to improving your home comfort. And at the heart of installation lies R factor insulation. Experienced HVAC techs and insulation installers start with the r-value, which measures a material’s resistance to conductive heat flow. R-Value measures (or rates) the thermal resistance of insulation, which means the higher the R-value, the greater the insulating effectiveness.
Energy experts at energy.gov shares the science behind r-value ratings.
The R-value depends on the type of insulation, its thickness, and its density. The R-value of some insulations also depends on temperature, aging, and moisture accumulation. When calculating the R-value of a multilayered installation, add the R-values of the individual layers.
“Installing more insulation in your home increases the R-value and the resistance to heat flow. In general, increased insulation thickness proportionally increases the R-value. However, as the installed thickness increases for loose-fill insulation, the settled density of the product increases due to compression of the insulation under its own weight. Because of this compression, loose-fill insulation R-value does not change proportionately with thickness. To determine how much insulation you need for your climate, consult a local insulation contractor.”
Additionally, installation techs understand the layered impact of insulation, which impacts the overall R factor insulation in your home. For example, heat (and all air) flows through studs, joists and other building materials, which means walls or ceilings maintain a different r-factor insulation than the materials themselves. As a result, homeowners leverage different insulation for filling cavities, which helps reduce airflow and heat loss.
How Does Climate Impact R-Factor Insulation?
Climate impacts the amount of home insulation needed. In particular, in the Capital District, our cold winters means more insulation than some other family members that might live in Florida or out west.
For example, the Insulation Institute shares r-factor insulation levels based on your geography.
As shown, in the Northeast, homeowners should maintain the following insulations levels throughout their home.
- Attic Insulation – maintain R-49 to R-60 ratings.
- Ceiling Insulation – maintain R-30 to R-60 ratings.
- Wall Insulation – maintain R-13 to R-21 ratings.
- Floor Insulation – maintain R-25 to R-30 ratings.
Finally, at A.Johnson, we rely on cellulose insulation because it strikes the perfect balance with high-performance and cost. Our method of spraying or injecting cellulose into cavities at high densities ensures that it achieves a tight air barrier, without the voids or gaps of conventional insulation. This air barrier also blocks the flow of moisture, since airflow accounts for 98% of moisture transfer, ensuring your home will be resistant to rot, mold, and condensation-related problems.
How Do I Determine My Home Insulation Levels?
Ultimately, home energy audits provide the best method for determining your insulation levels and needs. In fact, the Department of Energy notes that energy audits help homeowners determine where their house loses energy (and money).
For example, at A.Johnson, we provide energy audits and home performance services aimed at helping families save money (and energy). We offer whole house energy audits that deliver outstanding benefits, while providing the most comprehensive assessments available anywhere. The energy audits utilize useful health, safety and home efficiency tests that provide a prioritized list of issues. As a result, you can learn about the underlying problems and how each solution makes an immediate impact on your home comfort and energy bills. Based on your results our certified energy consultants will help you put together a custom plan for home improvements.
Finally, audits reveal how homeowners would fix such problems, which results in a more energy- and cost-efficient home. To put it simply, a home energy audit gauges how much energy your home consumes and identifies energy-efficient solutions to potentially save you significant money over time!
Interested in learning more?
An A.Johnson home energy audit offers incredible and immediate return on your money and includes the following services:
- Gas Leak Testing
- Carbon Monoxide Testing
- Equipment Safety Testing
- Equipment Efficiency Analysis
- Visual Inspections
- Structural Inspection
- Efficiency Testing
- Blower Door Testing
- Thermal Imaging Analysis
- Comprehensive Energy Assessment Report
To learn more, contact the home energy experts at A.Johnson today.