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The Truth About R-value

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The Truth About R-value

Are you considering upgrading your home insulation, or building a new home or addition and looking at what insulation to use? Then it’s likely the question of R-value* has come up. Often you’ll hear that higher R-value* means better insulation, but there’s another side to the R-value* story.

First, a brief explanation of what R-value* is: it is an insulating material’s resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-value*, the better the insulating material, it is generally thought. But did you know that thicker insulation or higher R-value* isn’t necessarily better?

When R-value* is rated at R-12, the resistance to conductive heat flow is 93%. So if you think you’ll be doubling your insulation’s resistance to heat flow by doubling your R-value*, you’re wrong! Increasing your R-value* to R-20 only leads to an extra 3% heat flow resistance, so don’t be fooled by those numbers.

Spray foam insulation, such as Icynene, expands into small gaps and holes, effectively air sealing the house. This results in the elimination of air leaks, a major source of energy loss in homes.

When it’s time to choose insulation materials, it’s best to look for a combination of ideal R-value* and a way to prevent air leakage, to maximize energy savings. Icynene spray foam is the perfect choice.

Talk to a licensed Icynene spray foam insulation contractor in your area, to find out more.

* R means resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-value, the greater the insulating power. Compare insulation R-values before you buy. There are other factors to consider. The amount of insulation you need depends mainly on the climate you live in. Also, your fuel savings from insulation will depend upon the climate, the type and size of your house, the amount of insulation already in your house, and your fuel use patterns and family size. If you buy too much insulation, it will cost you more than what you'll save on fuel. To get the marked R-value, it is essential that this insulation be installed properly.

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