Insulation R Value
The insulation r value is the rating used to measure the ability of the insulation to resist heat. Therefore, the higher the R-value, the more efficient the insulation is. It is ideal to purchase a house insulation based on its R-value but you also must consider the insulation’s weight or thickness.
All building materials and insulating materials have their corresponding R-value. The insulation r value is based on the density and thickness of the material. However, the insulation r value varies on the type of material. For example, a 4-inch thick fiberglass will have different insulation r value than a 4-inch thick cellulose. There also different high-density options for every type of insulation, each with higher R-value per inch compared to low density options of the same thickness.
The R- Value of the Most Common Insulation Types
· Fiberglass – Fiberglass is the most popular kind of insulation that is used in the United States. This type of insulation comes in two different forms – loose fill and batts. The loose fill fiberglass insulation is rated between 2.7 and 3.0 R-value per inch. Batt insulation has 2.9 to 3.8 R-value per inch of thickness. Fiberglass with higher density can have between 3.7 and 4.3 of R-value per inch of thickness.
· Cellulose insulation – This type of insulation is made with recycled newsprint. This is another type of loose fill insulation that is cost-effective. The R-value of cellulose insulation ranges from 3.6-3.8 per inch of thickness.
· Expanded Polystyrene – Expanded Polystyrene or the rigid foam insulation has 4.00 R-value per inch.
Insulation R-value is determined inside the lab, and it can be nice if your home or building can fit into labs, but homes are built outdoors. Factors like temperature changes, wind, and humidity affect the insulation quality of your home. Also, these factors create differences on the pressure in the interior and exterior of your home. Things like the mechanical systems, wind, and hot air can force air to go through the tiny or little cracks in your wall and make its way to the interior or exterior of your home.
Superior insulation systems have good R-value. Fiberglass blown in or batts, and cellulose insulation with high insulation r value can prevent heat loss through conduction, prevent heat loss through convection, and air infiltration and radiation.
Fiberglass insulation meets the criteria for R-value, without the weight of cellulose. This is important especially in attics. With fiberglass you can easily upgrade to an R-60. Adding the weight of cellulose at an R-60 you need to consider the stress of the added weight. Aside from insulating your home and helping you save energy, insulation can also help prevent flames from spreading in the event of fire. However, cellulose over time loses its fire resistance and the resistance to animals. These are done with chemicals. Which overtime leach out of cellulose. Additionally, insulation blocks sound transmission making your home a quieter place to live. Insulating your walls, attic, ceilings, vents, windows, etc can provide plenty of benefits.
The primary role of the insulation r value is to measure the insulation material’s ability to reduce the heat flow under a specific condition. Heat flow is made possible through conduction, convection, and radiation. Because heat flow is triggered by these factors, the insulation r value is tested under these environments. If the insulating materials can withstand these factors, it is considered to have high R-values.