It’s summer and this is the best time of year to review and upgrade any heating and insulation on your property. Don’t wait till winter, upgrade your insulation and heating while you still have plenty of time so you are not left in the cold. In this post, we discuss what is R-value
During your search for new and improved heating and insulation, there is a very good chance you will come across the term R-Value. People with no understanding will advise you to look for it and those so-called experts in stores or at suppliers will sell you on it. But what is R-Value and what does it mean to you when insulating your building?
What is R-Value
All products have what is called Thermal Resistance and the R-Value defines the speed any material or product will lose heat. It is common sense for insulating material to retain heat well and the R-value is a measure of how good a product or material is at doing so. The R-Value is proportional to the thickness of the products or material. Likewise, the value is inversely proportional to the thermal conductivity (K-Value) of the product. Read the specifications of the Isotherm as well as the specifications of the Aerolite. In fact, read the specifications of any insulation that you would need to purchase. This will give you a good idea of selecting the correct insulation.
In simple terms, the best insulation material has a high R-Value because it is generally thicker and denser and has a high level of thermal conductivity. Thermal conductivity is the measure of heat transfer which in insulation refers to the amount of heat lost and how fast.
There are many different types of insulation product on the market, each claiming to be better than the other. The truth lies in the R-Value and the K-Value. All insulation products are sent for testing to ascertain the K-value after manufacture. Having the R and the K values helps you determine the most suitable insulation product for your building. Installing the correct Thermal insulation is critical.
Different types of insulation
Essentially there are four main types of insulation and each has its own benefits and advantages over the other.
Rolls and Batts
The first type of insulation is Rolls and Batts. These flexible products come in fibrous sheets and are often referred to as insulation blankets. Rolls and batts are made for a number of materials that include fiberglass, polyester, and ceramic fiber.
Often made from cellulose loose-fill insulation is a pellet form products that is blown into spaces and cavities. It is a very popular form of insulation and highly effective when applied professionally.
Rigid foam is more costly than many insulation materials but the cost is outweighed by the generally high R-Values. The product is essentially a rigid, solid block of foam or polystyrene that can be cut to size. The high R-Value material is then set in the walls or in the ceiling. Rigid Foam often has two R values new R value and an aged R-value.
Foam in Place
If you have small, tricky places to get to then foam in place is a superb solution. Generally blown into smaller cavities it expands and hardens to provide outstanding insulation.
Shopping using the R-Value
Understanding What is R-Value and the K-Value and knowing that some manufacturers cheat is important. When being advised in the values always ask if the values and the testing were accurate and correctly undertaken. Any quality product will have the R-Value and K-Value test reports available and this is important for those buying in bulk who need peace of mind.
The R-Value is merely a guide; it is not telling you how good an insulator a product is for your particular job. Each building has different insulation needs and these must always be factored in. If you are just replacing out-dated rolls of insulation and that insulation has been adequate the R-Value is not of great importance. If you are working on a complete insulation upgrade or a new build the R-value helps determine the insulation as part of the construction. All buildings are different, different materials, roof angles, windows and roof spaces and all these make a difference to the insulation material used.
Remember that some insulation products will be more suitable for certain uses and one mustn’t be afraid to mix and match to achieve an overall better result.
Finally here are 5 simple tips when buying insulation
- Always seek advice
- The thicker the product the higher the R-value will be
- If there is no R-Value reconsider your choice of product
- Looks for quality assurance such as SABS
- Ask about the lifespan of the product – you don’t want to have to replace it every year
What is R-value of Insulation That You Want
Make sure you know what is R-value of the insulation that you would like to purchase, Remember not all insulation products with the same thickness will have the same R-value. Some insulation products are designed to have the correct R-value at a slightly thick level than others. For example, 145mm Isotherm insulation achieves the correct R value for the Western Cape. While 135mm Aerolite achieves the R value for the Western Cape, Having knowledge on what is R-value is very important when insulating your home. as the incorrect R value would be a waste of money. So install correctly and save energy.
Does R-value work On Thickness Of Insulation
All Roof insulation products are a measure to check the heat flow up or down. Based on the findings on these tests R-value will be established. No bear in mind some insulation products will achieve the recommended R-value on thinner Roof Insulation. Other Roof Insulation products might achieve this R-value on a Thicker insulation. In fact, this does not mean the one insulation form is better or worse than the other. The fact is the R-value is the main guiding factor.
Are all Insulation Products Equal Based on The Same R-value?
When choosing the Roof Insulation for your home. Firstly you will need to check on the correct R-value for your region. Secondly, a decision must be made on what Roof Insulation to Install. Look for a product like Isotherm Insulation with a 30-year guarantee or Aerolite with a 25 to 30-year lifespan. This will then give you years of energy saving benefits. If you choose products like blown in
Look for a product like Isotherm Insulation with a 30-year guarantee or Aerolite with a 25 to 30-year lifespan. This will then give you years of energy saving benefits. If you choose products like blown in
If you choose products like blown in paper the lifespan is very short in spite of guarantee. When we vacuum these paper type insulation products out of the roofs of unhappy homeowners we discover that as all the chemicals have dissipated the paper burns quite freely. So think long term and get years of energy saving.
Finally, make sure the Roof Insulation that you choose is a roll form Insulation. As roll form insulation products do not get affected by the wind. Roll form insulation will lay in place regardless of wind speed. However fine dust like paper that is blown into roofs will absorb water and be affected by the wind. We often find heaps of paper dust on one side of the home and very little on the other side of the home. This, in turn, leaves you exposed as to the insulation properties of your roof space.
Is R-value Affected by Compressing Roof Insulation?
In fact, any Roof Insulation that is compressed will only achiev the R-value of what the insulation is compressed to. So be sure to never lay boxes or other products direcly on your insulation in the Roof as this will reduce the Roof Insulation R-value. In order to retain the Roof Insulation R-value do not compress the Insulation in any what at all. As the R-value is based on density and thickness of a given insulation.