Insulation R-Value: What It Means and What You Need

If you’re trying to maximize the energy efficiency of your home, you may be researching insulation. But how much insulation should be installed? This is an important question to ask and a big part of the answer is the R-value.

What is insulation R-value and what does it mean for you? How much insulation does your home need? Put simply, the R in R-value stands for resistance, and it’s a basic measurement of an insulation material’s heat resistance.

How Is Insulation R-Value Calculated?

Let’s start with an example: 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 in your attic installation project.

Insulation professionals will be able to tell you how much insulation you need, based on:

  • What region you live in
  • What type of HVAC systems you have
  • The size of your home
  • Where you need to insulate
  • And more

One of the most important aspects is where you live.

What Are Recommended R-Values for the Buffalo Area?

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 Western New York. That’s why different regions of the United States have different recommended insulation levels. Here in the Buffalo area, we are in zone 5.

Insulation Climate Zone

Source: energystar.gov

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.

Your primary options are:

This is a lot of information, but don’t worry—you won’t be on your own. An insulation company will be able to help you with all your needs and explain R-value, the right amount of insulation for your home and more!

Home Insulation Services in Western New York

The R-Value shouldn’t be the only determining factor. How old your home is, its location and building materials also play an important role when it comes to choosing the right insulation. Cost and the inhabitants of the home may be another factor in your decision-making. Whatever the type of installation you need, Town Building Systems can help. As part of the IBP family of companies, we offer the resources and expertise that few local companies can match.

Contact us to learn more about our insulation installation services or if you’re ready to install insulation in your Buffalo area home!

 

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