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The Gist What Are R Values In Home Remodeling Materials?

1 Min Read
Published on Friday October 29th, 2021
Updated on Monday July 11th, 2022

Introduction

R-value is a measure of the material's resistance to conductive heat flow. In other words, it is how well the material absorbs heat. The higher the value, the less heat the material absorbs from the inside and outside of your house. The heat flow is measured in terms of its thermal resistance(R-value). Therefore, the higher the R-value, the more effective the material is at retaining heat inside your home.
These values will be already calculated for you by the manufacturers. It's a good idea to take your wall and ceiling insulation into account as well because it covers over 70% of the surface area of your home. Badly accounted window insulation will result in warm air slowly escaping to the outside through surfaces such as windows and insulation materials.

What is insulation?

Insulation acts as a barrier between the air, moisture, etc. in your house and the air, moisture, etc. out of your house. This is what helps houses maintain roughly the same temperature for longer periods of time. Without it, air-conditioning wouldn't be as effective as air would escape outside and your air-conditioner will work harder to keep your home cool. Because of the increased stress on your air-conditioner, it makes your ac more prone to failure because its designed to have a certain capacity/lifetime.
ZoneUninsulated Attic3-4 INCHES OF EXISTING ATTIC INSULATIONUninsulated FloorUninsulated Wood-frame WallInsulated Wood Frame Wall
1R30-R49R19-R38R13R13 or R0 + R10 CI*N/A
2R49–R60R38–R49R13R13 or R0 + R10 CIN/A
3R49–R60R38–R49R19R20 or R13 + R5 CI or R0 + R15 CIAdd R5 CI
4 EXCEPT MARINER60R49R19R20 + R5 CI or R13 + R10 CI or R0 + R15 CIAdd R10 CI
4 MARINE AND 5R60R49R30R20 + R5 CI or R13 + R10 CI or R0 + R15 CIAdd R10 CI
6R60R49R30R20 + R5 CI or R13 + R10 CI or R0 + R20 CIAdd R10 CI
7 AND 8 R60 R49R38R20 + R5 CI or R13 + R10 CI or R0 + R20 CIAdd R10 CI

Helpful Resources

The Depart of Energy compiled a list of an average R-Value for the Zone area you live in. We recommend additionally to consult with a contractor as they are more capable to provide the best R-value given the context of your home—areas humidity, moisture, etc.

Technicalities of R-Values

The R-value depends on the material type of insulation, thickness, and density. Additionally, for some materials, the R-value depends on temperature, aging, and moisture accumulation.
When installing more insulation in your home, the R-value is increased and the resistance to heat flow. A general rule of thumb is the insulation thickness size will proportionally increase the R-value. However, there is a catch. As the

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