Understanding Insulation R-Values for a Comfortable Home
Your home heating and cooling system is your primary tool for keeping your home comfortable, but insulation is another factor that can have a significant effect on indoor comfort. The type of insulation you use in your home must be carefully chosen, and the insulation R-values must be appropriate for your geographical area. Here is a brief guide to insulation R-values and why they are important.
The Purpose of Insulation
Insulation prevents the flow of heat from warmer to colder areas. In a residential setting, insulation keeps warm air in during the cooler months and out during the hotter part of the year. Without insulation, or without enough insulation, heat from your furnace or heat pump escapes from your home in winter, while your air conditioner is overwhelmed with incoming heat during the summer. This makes your indoor spaces uncomfortable and increases the amount you pay for heating and cooling every month.
R-Values and Their Meaning
Insulation R-values indicate how effective a particular type of insulation will be at resisting the flow of heat. There are several types of insulation available to choose from, including fiberglass, cellulose, and foam. Each type of insulation will have an R-value, while better-quality insulation of each type will typically have a higher R-value. The higher the R-value, the better the insulation will be a resisting the flow of heat.
The R-value of insulation can also be affected by the thickness and density of the material, and whether or not the insulation material is compressed. Each layer of insulation is considered separately when calculating R-value, with the values of each layer added together to reach the final R-value rating.
In southern Florida, the U.S. Department of Energy recommends insulation with an R-value of R30 to R60 for attics, R13 to R15 for walls, and R16 to R19 for floors.
Conditioned Air serves heating and cooling customers in the Florida communities of Sarasota, Bradenton, Ft. Myers, and the surrounding areas. Contact us today for more information on insulation R-values and the benefits that proper insulation can have for your home.