Proper insulation plays a crucial role in the comfort and efficiency of your home. Any time that you look into improving the insulation levels of your home, one of the terms that you’ll come across over and over again is “R-value.” So let’s take a look at what R-value means and how you can use it to ensure that you have enough insulation in your home.

What is insulation R-value?

R-value is a term used to describe how well a piece of insulation can resist the flow of heat. Similar to the way MERV ratings describe the effectiveness of air filters, R-values represent how effective different types of insulation are at containing heat inside the living areas of your home.

The “R” in R-value stands for “resistance.” The higher the R-value for a given type of insulation, the better it is at resisting the flow of heat. The R-values of different types of insulation are dependent on the material they’re made with, their density, and their thickness.

How do you determine proper insulation R-value for your home?

The proper insulation R-values for your home depend on several factors, including where you’re adding the insulation and the type of heating system you have installed. The Department of Energy has more information you can use to get recommended R-values for different parts of your home based on your zip code and the type of heating system you have installed.

Why is it important to insulate to the proper R-value?

Heat naturally travels from warmer areas to cooler areas. During winter, heat attempts to move out of your home’s living spaces and into your home’s unconditioned spaces, eventually trying to escape outdoors. Insulation prevents this from happening by resisting the flow of heat and keeping it in your home’s living spaces where it belongs.

Without insulating to the proper R-value, your home would be less comfortable and your furnace would have to work extra hard to make up for the loss of heat. This could lead to high energy bills, even if you have a high-efficiency furnace.

If you have any questions about the R-value of insulation, or if you’d like a heating system serviced or installed in your home, contact Jerry Kelly Heating & Air Conditioning, your St. Charles heating and cooling company. We service the St. Louis area and surrounding towns like Clarkson Valley, Lake St. Louis, and Weldon Springs.

photo credit: Southend-on-Sea in Transition via photopin cc

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