What Is Insulation R Value?

If you’re searching for insulation contractors in Grand Rapids or insulation contractors in Holland, you already know that your home could probably benefit from more insulation. One of the most important factors to consider when looking into insulation contractors, materials, and costs, is the R value of insulation. Since educating folks about home efficiency in West Michigan has been our calling for many years, we can take some of the mystery out of what R value is, and why it’s important for your home.

In general, the “R” in R value is for resistance to heat flow. Higher R values mean greater insulating effectiveness. Every climate, every home, and every area of the home has different needs for insulation. When you select an R value, bear in mind that higher R values are generally better in Michigan, but not every area of the home warrants the highest R value available.

If you have multiple layers of insulation, the rule of thumb is simply to add the R values of the layers together to determine the combined R value. However, the actual R value of insulation once installed can be somewhat different from the R value rating of the material, and there are a number of reasons for that. For example, the R value of a given wall may vary from the R value of the insulation material, because other building materials must be factored in. Heat flows more easily through the wooden studs and any spaces in the wall than through insulation, so the total R value of the wall would be less than the R value of the insulation. Even homes that have been insulated to achieve a certain R value can lose that rating over time, particularly if moisture has entered the home through a leaky roof or poor ventilation.

When you’re looking for insulation, you’ll learn that there are also many variations in types of insulation, depending on the purpose and the space that is being insulated. R value is a good standardized measure for comparing insulation options. But there are also wide variations in quality of insulation – even insulation that is rated with the same R value. That’s why it’s always a good idea to get expert recommendations regarding exactly what’s needed for your home. Whether you need insulation contractors Grand Rapids or insulation contractors Holland, be sure to contact GreenFIT Homes at 616-887-2901 for an evaluation and recommendation for your home.

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