The Truth About R-Value

If you are in the market for insulation, you have likely heard the term “R-value” being thrown around quite a bit. Often, the terminology for these types of things, especially when it comes to building and supply materials, can be a bit confusing and even misleading. R-value is an important term with important meaning behind it, however, so to choose the most effective insulation products, you need to know the truth about R-value.

What Is R-Value?

R-value, which is also sometimes referred to as “thermal resistance” is a measurement. Specifically, it measures how much resistance a material has to heat flow. This, understandably, is a very important factor for insulation materials.

Most states have requirements for the R-value of any new building projects, such as residential and commercial buildings. The R-value for these large projects is often based on an overall calculation of the R-values in specific areas of the building, such as the roof. Single materials, however, also have an R-value rating that should be paid attention to.

The R-value of an insulation material not only gives you an idea of how efficient the material will be to retain warm or cool air, but can also affect your energy costs.

How Is R-Value Measured?

The R-value is measured based on information set by the American Society of Testing and Materials. They test specific materials, like insulation, based on specialized heat flow tests, and give the product a rating based on their findings. The calculation for R-value measures a material’s conduction, convection, and radiation, which are all methods by which heat moves. By calculating each of these factors, an R-value is established.

Is All Insulation Created Equally?

As you are researching and shopping for different insulation materials, you might notice that very different materials have similar R-values. For example, you might see that large batts of fiberglass material show a higher or similar R-value to that of open cell foam spray insulation. Both of these materials are quite different, of course, and they each have their benefits. All insulation is in no way created equally, because there are so many different uses and also advancements on these materials. Also pay attention and make sure that the R-value listed is per inch of the product, as one inch of closed cell Polyurethane spray foam has twice the R-value that one inch of fiberglass batting does.

What Does R-Value Mean To Consumers?

R-value is an important factor when choosing insulation materials, but should absolutely not be the only factor you consider. The ease of installation, longevity, and strength of the product should also come into play when choosing which material is best for you. Also consider moisture resistance and airflow, as these can be huge factors that could become a problem down the line. Closed cell Polyurethane spray foam, for example, has excellent moisture and weather resistance as well as being extremely resistant to air flow, where Fiberglass batting can accumulate moisture and it takes a huge amount to dampen airflow as opposed to an inch of the foam material.

Use this information about R-value to arm yourself as you research the best insulation materials for you.

If you have questions or concerns, Georgia Foam Solutions is a great place to start as they have many years of experience and a very knowledgeable staff.

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