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What Is an Insulation R-Value?

If you’re planning to install insulation and doing some research, you’ve probably come across the term “R-value.” What is the R-value of insulation? Simply put, the R in R-value stands for resistance and is a basic measurement of an insulation material’s heat resistance. Keep reading to learn more!

A properly insulated home should reduce heat flow, keeping it inside during the winter and outside during the hot summer months (which will be here faster than we think!). Reducing the flow of heat in your home keeps your energy costs low, so good insulation is a must for every homeowner who wants to save on their bills and keep their home as comfortable as possible.

The Right R-Value for Your Home

Although in general, the higher the R-value, the greater the insulating power, it doesn’t mean that the higher number makes a type of insulation better for your home overall. The right R-value for your home primarily depends on where you live and the area(s) in your home you need to insulate. That’s why the Department of Energy came up with a system that rates different areas of the United States, giving them recommendations on the ideal R-value for their region. Here in Indianapolis, we are in zone 5 (some surrounding areas may be in zone 4).

R-Value Map

Note: The map and tables shown are the Department of Energy’s (DOE) R-value recommendations for existing homes and are based on comparing future energy savings to the current cost of installing insulation. Savings vary.

Keep in mind that you don’t need to necessarily use the same insulation R-value throughout your whole house. It’s more efficient to use insulation with higher R-values in the attic and in rooms with cathedral ceilings than in wood frame walls, basements, or crawl spaces with walls.

Where to install insulation is the second thing you’ll need to know, because different areas of your home require different R-values. The attic needs a higher R-value than the walls because heat naturally rises and commonly escapes through your attic.

After you’ve figured out your zone and where your insulation is going to go, then you look at your different options and types of insulation. It’s recommended to also air seal (because air leaks can undermine the performance of insulation, it’s a good idea to both insulate and seal your home).

Indianapolis Area Insulation Installers

Looking for an insulation company that serves the central Indiana area? Overhead Door Co. of Indianapolis & Muncie installs spray foam and fiberglass insulation and can insulate attics, walls, basements and crawl spaces. If you need to insulate your home in the Indianapolis area, make us your first and last call.

Get in touch with our team to learn more about our services or if you’re interested in scheduling a consultation with our professionals!

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