It is natural for heat to move from a warmer place to a cooler place. During summer, this means that the warm air outside will try to heat up the inside of the house. The best way to prevent this is to have ample insulation all throughout the perimeter as well as the roofing. Insulating materials act as barriers to the heat transfer. The house will be kept cool so the air conditioner won’t have to work so hard, resulting in lower bills.
The Primary Insulation Spec
When on the hunt for insulation materials, the first thing to look for is the R-Value. This is the primary insulation specification. It tells the consumer how effective a product is in its role as a heat barrier. Nearly all types of insulation will have this indicated prominently on their label. The greater the number, the better its resistance to heat transfer. It’s a very useful tool for the comparison of different materials, giving consumers a consistent standard across the board.
Finding a Suitable R-Value
The home’s location is a crucial determinant. Those situated in colder climates up North need higher R-Values compared to those in warmer climates down South. The structural style of the house is another vital consideration — its overall size, number of floors, type of foundation, height of ceilings, and so on. Lastly, the kind of heating and cooling systems used to control the interior environment will also have an impact on the level of insulation needed. The Department of Energy has provided some guidance on this through their website. Local shops can also give answers to specific questions.
Different R-Values for Different Needs
Since the level of exposure is different across various parts of the house, their R-Value requirements will also differ. The attic, for instance, will require better insulation than the basement. Rooms with tall ceilings will also need better insulation than those with low ceilings. Those who aren’t sure how to manage the insulation can have do a home energy audit or have a professional come in to do it for them.
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