A Closer Look At R-Value

If you’re looking for ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency, then you may have come across the term “R-value” in your research for attic insulation. An R-value is what specifies the insulation level of a product or material, so paying attention to this distinction is an important factor when it comes to attic insulation installation. Continue reading to learn more about R-value.

The Role of Insulation

To understand how insulation works, you should begin by looking at heat flow, which involves convection, conduction, and radiation mechanisms. Convection is the way in which heat circulates in gasses and liquids, conduction is how heat moves through materials, and heat that is radiant travels straight and warms anything solid that it passes. Most often, insulation works by reducing conductive heat flow and a lesser amount of convective heat flow. Reflective insulation, however, is used to reduce radiant heat gain. Whatever the mechanism, heat continues to flow toward cooler areas until the temperatures become equal. Insulation slows down this process to help keep you comfortable and reduce your home heating and cooling costs.

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The Effectiveness of Insulation

How resistant an insulating material is to conductive heat flow is rated by its R-value, which describes its thermal resistance. The higher a material’s R-value, the more effectively it can insulate a space. Factors that can influence an R-value include the material’s thickness, density, and type. If you’re planning to use more than one layer of insulation, then you would add the R-values together to determine their total effectiveness. How well a material can insulate your home can also depend on where and how it is installed. Insulation that is compressed, for example, may not be able to function as intended and could be less effective than is indicated by its R-value. To learn how much attic insulation your home should have, speak with a local insulation contractor.

Atticare specializes in attic insulation installation in San Francisco. To learn about this or our other services, please call 1-866-692-5449.


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