When you’re considering insulating your home, the term ‘R-Value’ will come up in your research. R-value is a term used to describe how resistant insulation is to heat loss, and is used on packaging to help people put a number to the efficiency of the item in the package. The greater the R-value, the greater the resistance to heat loss, which means the better the thermal insulating properties of the barrier.
However, R-Value is just one of many pieces to the ‘efficiency puzzle.’ When considering insulation, if you look at R-Value alone, you’ll be missing pieces to the puzzle. Insulation is essentially building science.
When providing a free estimate to customers, we’ve discovered that many customers are focused on simply the R-Value, and are looking to base their decisions on this number alone.
Did You Know? The testing used to determine R-value was set in place many years ago, and was based on fiberglass insulation alone, as that was the primary method used at that time.
Size Isn’t Everything
When deciding between fiberglass and spray foam, the thickness of the two types of insulation is drastically different. For example, 3.5 inches of fiberglass has an R-value of R-12. Comparatively, 2 inches of spray foam has the very same R-Value of R-12! This thinner, 2” layer of spray foam is also more efficient. 2lb closed cell spray foam at 2’’ thick hovers right around 90% efficiency!
It’s Like A Refrigerator Door
Here’s a simple visualization to help you compare these two: Think of the temperature inside your refrigerator. When walking past it on a humid summer day, you won’t notice a temperature change as you walk by. The refrigerator door is keeping all of the hot air out, and the cold air in. It’s insulating effectively. If you imagine the 2” refrigerator door as polyurethane foam, it works as a much more effective barrier than fiberglass insulation, which couldn’t function as effectively, even if it was twice as thick.
We Can Help
When you need new or more insulation, we can guide you in making the right insulation choice for your home. We look at all of the puzzle pieces that need to go together for the right level of efficiency, that can also meet your budget.