If you’ve read about insulation at all, you’ve probably seen the term “R-value.” But what is it and what does it mean? R-value indicates how effective a particular material is. This term of measurement plays a significant part in determining how much insulation is needed and the savings that can be gained.
How Is Insulation R-Value Calculated?
Let’s start at a base point: solid wood has an R-value of 1. An R-value is also calculated per inch of width. Therefore, a three-inch-thick board has an R-value of 3. Blown fiberglass installed in the attic has an R-value of 2.2 per inch, so 12 inches of it would give you an R-value of 26.4.
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What R-Value Is Right for My Home?
Yes, generally a higher R-value means a more effective insulator, but the highest R-value possible may not be necessarily right for your project. Homes in certain climates don’t need as much insulation as others. For example, homeowners in Florida don’t need to worry about insulating against extremely cold temperatures—the weather is quite different here in Idaho. That’s why different regions of the United States have different recommended insulation levels. Here in the Boise area, we are in zone 5.
Where to install insulation is the second thing you’ll need to know because different areas of your home require different R-values. Attic insulation needs a higher R-value than wall insulation because heat naturally rises and commonly escapes through your attic. Different materials also differ in R-values. For example, spray foam has a different R-value than fiberglass.
After you’ve figured out your zone and where your insulation is going to go, then you look at your different options and types of insulation.
This is a lot of information, but don’t worry—you won’t be doing this on your own. An insulation company will be able to help you with all your needs and explain R-value and the right amount of home insulation for you!
Choosing the Right Insulation Solutions
The R-Value shouldn’t be the only determining factor when you choose insulation. How old your home is, its location and building materials can all play a part in choosing the right insulation. Cost and the inhabitants of the home may be another factor in your decision-making. No matter what type of insulation you choose for your project, Big City Insulation of Idaho can help.
Contact us to learn more about our insulation installation services or if you’re ready to install insulation in your Boise area home!