Insulating your Colorado home has never been easier. Not only do you have access to a range of materials, but there are different variations and installation options to suit your insulation needs and requirements.
When it comes to insulating your home, it’s crucial to develop an understanding of R-value so you can make the most of your insulation. Read on to learn more about R-value, how it works, and ways to determine the R-value your property needs.
What Is an Insulation’s R-Value?
R-Value refers to the measure of how an insulating material resists heat flow via conduction, convection, and radiation under certain conditions. The greater a material’s R-value, the higher its insulation effectiveness. Some things to think about include:
- Type of insulation
- Material thickness
- Material density
- Material’s age
- Moisture concentration
When calculating the R-value of a multilayered installation, add the R-values of the individual layers together.
To gain a better understanding of the role of R-values in the area of insulation, it’s important to know the basic purpose of insulation. The main goal of insulating any space is to improve thermal efficiency and regulate its temperature.
Insulation will keep your home warm in freezing winter weather and cooler during hot summer months. And it does this by lowering heat transfer and its ability to flow into your home and vice versa.
Which Insulation Has the Best R-Value?
The simplest way to tackle this question is to begin by understanding that there’s no “best” R-value. Any material that has a high R-value is going to be highly effective. But a greater R-value isn’t a standard requirement for all Colorado homes.
The country is split into “climate Zones”, and each zone requires a different R-value based on the local weather. For instance, homes in areas that are extremely hot and humid require insulations with lower R-values compared to those that are usually cold.
Which R-Value Insulation Do You Need?
We recommend materials with R-Values of 7 or more. The best insulation is one that suits your home’s unique conditions the most effectively.
Types of Insulation
Insulation technologies are made from different materials and structures. Each sheet has a different R-value rating. Here are the common types.
There are four very common and well-trusted types of insulation:
Foil insulation: Has a reflective surface on one side that deflects heat back to the environment. It’s suitable for insulating homes in hot and sunny areas. Foil is affordable, easy to install, and available in a range of R-values.
Batts and rolls: This type comes in a range of materials such as wool, fiberglass, and cellulose fiber with different R-values. Bulk insulation features numerous tiny air bubbles, which trap hot air in. These are often used to insulate unfinished basement floors, wall studs, and joists.
Rigid foam: Here we have materials such as polyurethane, polystyrene, and polyisocyanurate. They have high R-values and can insulate most parts of your home, including your basement walls.
Spray Insulation: A fairly newer technology, spray insulation uses foam. The material is sprayed to the walls, floor, or ceiling. It expands to form a thick insulation. While spray foam is water-resistant and has a higher value than traditional insulation, it’s also more flammable than its counterparts.
How Much Insulation Do You Need?
The amount of R-value your home needs depends on your area’s climate, type of HVAC system, and the part of your home that needs insulation.
When computing heat loss for a particular type of wall using R-values, various factors come into play. You can’t rely on the manufacturer’s values only as they apply to properly installed insulation. Squashing a fiberglass bat lowers the R-value of the material but increases the R-value per inch.
Which Areas Need Insulation?
Various parts of your home need insulation. Here are areas that you shouldn’t overlook.
Roof and attic: Both areas allow heat to escape from your home. Insulating the attic can make your home comfortable and energy-efficient in winter. In summer, the insulation materials bounce the heat back to the atmosphere.
Exterior walls: Installing an unbroken layer of rigid foam on the exterior side of the walls can help prevent heat loss and the rate of air leakage.
Unfinished Floors: During winter, such floors have the potential of pulling heat out. You can prevent heat loss by insulating the joist cavities on your crawl space.
At Complete Basement Systems, we perform expert crawl space and basement insulation installations using ExTremeBloc™, which is waterproof. Your home will feel warm in cold winters and cool in hot summers. To get started, request a free inspection and quote today.