Whether you are looking for home insulation for the first time, or you’re thinking about supplementing or replacing the insulation you already have, you have probably come across one term over and over: R-value. It’s clearly important to deciding what kind of insulation you need, as well as how much of it you need, but what does “R-value” actually mean? Healthy Home 365 wants to help you make the best and most informed decision about your home improvement projects, so in today’s blog, we demystify one of the most important vocabulary words in the world of home insulation. Continue reading to learn more and call Healthy Home 365 today to learn more about our innovative attic insulation solutions!

What You Need to Know

Before we offer you a definition, there are a few terms and concepts you need to understand. First, to truly understand the purpose and value of insulation, you may want to revisit our blog post on the science of energy conservation. To sum up, heat always wants to move to cooler areas to achieve equilibrium. This means that, during the summer, the heat outside is battling your AC unit, and in the winter, the heat inside your home is trying to escape.

Proper insulation can help you stay comfortable and save your HVAC system energy and effort by getting in the way of this heat transfer. There are a few different types of heat flow, but the two that insulation directly combats are traditionally conduction and radiation. Conductive heat moves through materials. You’ve probably experienced this for yourself when hot coffee or cocoa warms your hands through your mug. The other type of energy transfer is radiant heat flow, which is more direct. In the case of radiation, energy moves in a straight line, like sunlight, and heats any material in its path that absorbs its energy.

What Does “R-Value” Mean?

The R-value of your insulation is measurement of how well it resists heat transfer. One way to remember that is to associate the “R” in R-value with “resistance.” A higher R-value means higher resistance, which means that insulation is more effective at keeping heat inside your home in the winter and heat outside your home during the summer.

Why Does R-Value Matter?

Using a term that is little understood by homeowners and contractors alike may seem counterproductive, but knowing the R-value of your insulation is a great shortcut for understanding whether or not your home is properly insulated. Each region of the U.S. has a recommended R-value for optimal comfort and energy conservation, and you can find the recommended value for your home with a labeled and color-coded map made by the Department of Energy. The state of Texas, where Healthy Home 365 is based, includes three different zones with three different recommended R-values. You can look for yourself to determine which zone best applies to your town.

Once you know what the recommended R-value is for home insulation in your area, you can investigate whether or not your property complies with that recommendation. With an inspection and a little math, you can determine the R-value of your current insulation and decide if it needs to be supplemented or replaced. Look for further instructions on how to inspect your attic insulation in future blog posts!

Increase Your Insulation’s R-Value with KOOLBlanket

For homes in need of new or supplemental attic insulation, Healthy Home 365 has developed a solution. KOOLBlanket is aluminum-fiberglass insulation that repurposes the technology NASA uses to insulate shuttles and space suits to protect your home from radiant heat transfer. It can be used in addition to traditional attic insulation, and it can block up to 97 percent of unwanted radiant heat transfer. Is your insulation falling short of the recommended R-value for your part of the U.S.? Make up the difference with KOOLBlanket. Call Healthy Home 365 today to get started!