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Choosing the Right Insulation & Understanding R-Value

Insulation is a crucial aspect in protecting our homes and other buildings; it helps with regulating temperatures and managing energy costs and consumption. Often times, when looking at insulation options for their home, customers have either never heard of R-value or are not very familiar with how the term comes into play with insulation.

What is R-Value?

R-Value is the measure of how effectively a material will resist the flow of heat. It quantifies the thermal resistance of a two-dimensional barrier, such as insulation, a window, a wall or a ceiling. Since we know from science class that heat rises, a higher R-value is typically found in your home's roof/attic insulation, while your walls and exterior surfaces will be lower.

Depending on the type of climate your home is located, your home's recommended R-value may change. Typical roofing insulation on newer homes in the middle and south regions of the United States may have an R-value ranging between R30 and R38, while homes in the north will range closer to R40-R50.

Older homes with outdated technology may need to have their insulation replaced with one that has the proper R-value for your climate. 

Choosing the Right Insulation 

 When choosing the right insulation in and around your home, there're are few different key factors to consider:

  • Location: The location of where some of the areas in your building will have different thicknesses of insulation. These could be the differences between load-bearing walls, exterior walls, doors, etc.
  • Material: What type of material do you need? The most common insulation materials are fiberglass, spray foam, and foam board. Click here to check out one of our blogs on the different types of insulation to learn more.
  • Cost: Depending on the cost, the higher R-value you choose can be more expensive to install, just remember, improved home insulation can lead to lower energy costs each month.
  • Climate: If you're living in a warmer climate, people tend to get the lower R-value. Georgia homes are recommended by Energy Star to have attic insulation with an R-value between R30-R60.

What R-Value Does My Basement Need? 

Many homeowners may think of their basement as one of the coolest rooms or levels of their home. Depending on the size of your home's basement, the R-value needed to maintain a comfortable environment will vary. A comfortable R-value for your basement depends on several factors, but here in Georgia it will range from R19 to R25 depending on the surface type, for example floors and crawlspaces may need a higher R-value than walls and windows.

Of course there are a few factors to consider when insulating your basement or crawlspace, one of these being whether your basement is finished or not. If you are using the basement as a fully functioning level of your home with an entertainment area, small kitchen, bedrooms or offices, comfort will be super important. If you are using your basement or crawl space strictly for storage purposes, your insulation needs may be different.

How Trotter Roofing Can Help

 If you've got an older home that might need an insulation overhaul, or if you're not sure you've got the proper R-value in your attic, contact us today. Our roofing experts are well-versed in insulation needs for homes in Metro Atlanta and North Georgia, we can inspect your home to ensure you're maximizing energy savings, call us at 404-610-9100 for a free walk-through!

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