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You’ve no doubt heard someone say the walls in a home have R-13 insulation or a roof has R-30 insulation, but what does this really mean? Unless you’re an insulation professional or home building/renovation contractor, you may have no idea. Our Austin insulation professionals want to help clear up the meaning of R-value, and what those numbers really indicate when it comes to energy efficiency.

R-value is essentially the ability of an insulating material to resist heat flow. For instance, if an insulating material is four inches thick how effective is it in resisting or preventing heat from flowing through that thickness? To put it in basic terms, the higher the R-value the less heat loss you will experience. This results in lower energy bills along with increased comfort!

One example of this is an older home that may have been built using 2 x 4’s to construct walls. Today’s newer homes are usually built using 2 x 6 boards, which means there’s an additional two inches that can be used for insulation purposes. The thicker the insulation the better. In many older homes insulation has an R-value of 13, however a newer home may have an R-19 value or even higher. It’s all about a thermal barrier that prevents heat transfer to the greatest extent possible.

Now that it makes at least some sense, what are good R-values for walls, the roof, etc.? In most cases walls rated R-19 and a roof with an R-30 or R-40 value are considered high standard.

R-value is important in terms of how comfortable your home is in winter months or during the summer season; it can also save you a bundle on energy costs. Whether you choose open or closed cell spray foam, blown in cellulose or fiberglass, batted fiberglass or rolled mineral wood or another type of insulation, always learn all you can about R-value in making your decision!

HabiShield is a trusted Austin insulation company installing all types of insulation including spray foam, blown in, batted & rolled and rigid foam board for residential and commercial customers. Trust our professionals with your biggest investment.