R-Values: Factoring in the Variables

In the warm summers and especially cold winters of Northeast Ohio, high-quality insulation can make a major difference in keeping your energy bills down, and the air in your home or business comfortable. R-value has long been referred to as the end-all measurement of insulation efficiency, but with new guidelines, the consistency of R-values, even in the same piece of insulation, has come into question. As it turns out, the R-value of a given type of insulation, and the amount of insulation necessary to achieve the desired overall R-value, can change based on a variety of factors.

  • Outside air temperature – With new testing methods, it has been found that the R-value of many types of10.04.13 insulation improves as the temperature outside gets colder. This does not mean that insulation is ineffective in warm weather, but instead that it tends to perform at its optimum efficiency in the cold. Blown-in cellulose is one type of insulation that has proved to perform better in colder temperatures, making it ideal for winter in the Cleveland area.

  • Proper installation of insulation – Improper installation of your insulation is a sure way to decrease its R-value from what is advertised. All advertised values are based upon insulation being installed properly, which makes expert installation the best way to get the most out of your insulation.

  • Where the insulation is being installed – Not all areas of your home are created equal when it comes to insulation. Depending on the area where the insulation is being installed, a certain thickness is necessary to achieve the desired efficiency. Knowing this thickness, and the ideal type of insulation, will increase performance. For example, attics and cathedral ceilings tend to require the highest R-values, while basement exteriors and slab edges tend to require the least. These values also depend on what type of heating system is used in your home.

If you have questions about insulation, or need an expert to insulate your home for optimal efficiency, please contact us at Geisel Heating, Air Conditioning and Plumbing, serving the Greater Cleveland area for more than 75 years.




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Our goal is to help educate our customers in Cleveland, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about R-Valueand other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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