What are R-values
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The values of adding insulation to your home
Buying Insulation: What are R-Values?
One thing many homeowners will notice when they look at insulation is that every one has a different R-value. This number represents how much resistance the insulation provides for heat transfer. Technically, it is a term used in the building industry for thermal resistance per unit area.
Basically, the higher the R-value is, the greater are its thermal insulating properties and the more effective the insulation will be. This value is determined according to rigid guidelines, so it can be an accurate way to compare different types of insulation and determine which one is the right option for adding to a new or existing home.
Homeowners should determine the current R-value of their insulation to see how much higher it could be by adding in new insulation or what the difference might be if they completely replace their insulation. It’s also a good idea to compare the thickness of the insulation with the R-value so it’s possible to use a thinner material that can provide a higher R-value where possible.
The effectiveness of an insulation's resistance to heat flow is dependent on a number of factors, including whether or not it is compressed. Compressed insulation will NOT provide its full rating of protection. If it ever got damp, for example, the moisture could have caused the insulation to settle, or compress, and retain a new shape. To achieve its maximum potential, the cavity should be filled or the damaged insulation replaced.
The R-value of sheetrock, joists, studs, and other building materials is much lower than that of insulation because heat flows more readily through these materials in a process called thermal bridging.
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