Insulation – The low down on R value

insulation ruler to mesure r valueAttic insulation is very important when it comes to getting the full potential out of your home’s heating and air conditioning system. It resists the heat from your attic coming into your home and helps with quieting the noise from your HVAC system. How thick your insulation is and how fluffy it is can make all the difference in how well it can resist the heat from getting into your home. There are four different types of wall insulation that all vary in price and efficiency; Cellulose, Batted Fiberglass, Blown Fiberglass, and Foam are all different materials used to insulate your home. Cellulose is newspaper, cardboard and other recycled materials shredded up and used as insulation. Although it has a lower price value and Eco-friendly, it settles quicker over time and can lose up to 20% of its thermal resistance. Batted fiberglass is sold in rolls that are laid out in between the wooden panels in your attic. Sometimes, because it is so perfectly cut, there are gaps left in between the wood and heat is able to escape into your home.

The most common type of insulation is Blown Fiberglass, which is blown out through a hose covering the entire surface of the attic floor. Blown Fiberglass is very fluffy and is able to cover all areas, reducing the amount of heat getting through. Finally, the most efficient, but highest in price value is Foam which has tiny air pockets inside that contain all of the heat coming in from the attic.

You may have also heard the term “R value” this references fiberglass insulation. R stands for resistance of heat flow, so the higher the number next to the R means the thicker and more efficiency the insulation is. Sacramento home building standards are always changing. Today the building standards vary depending on where you live, the type of heating and cooling system you have and other factors. R-22 which is just above 8 inches of insulation is fairly common in the Sacramento area. You can see there is quite a variance when it comes to thickness in your homes insulation. Here’s a little cheat sheet to determine the R value of your homes insulation.

The better the insulation in your attic, the more efficiency you will get out of your HVAC system. One of the things to consider when looking at the overall efficiency of your home is the attic and ceiling insulation, garage walls and other exterior passage ways, floor insulation or basement insulation, duct work, and interior wall insulation. Before you question if your A/C or furnace is ready to be replaced, make sure to have a professional HVAC technician check the quality of insulation. Bell Brothers is glad to provide you with a complete insulation and duct inspection at no charge. To schedule you appointment complete the below request for information form and we will contact you shortly.