When you begin to consider ways to improve the energy efficiency of your home, one of the first terms you will hear is R-value, a number that is used to measure the insulation in your home. Your roof and your walls each have an R-value that dictates how well they insulates your home. Learn why R-value is important and what it really means.
R-value is a number that indicates how well (or how poorly) your home prevents the transfer of heat in the house. It’s given as a whole number, with a higher number indicating better prevention of heat transfer. In layman’s terms, a roof with a R-value of 20 is less efficient than a roof with an R-value of 30.
The higher R-value prevents heat from passing into and out of the home. When your home has a low R-value, hot and cold air are free to transfer into and out of your home. Unfortunately, that frosty air you’re filling rooms with during the hot Santa Barbara summer is also free to filter out through the walls and roof. So, you’re spending more money to cool your home, because the cool air you’re producing is escaping.
Adding insulation and taking other steps to boost your home’s R-value will improve the energy efficiency and the comfort level of your home. You’ll find that you stay comfortable for longer periods of time without having to turn the air conditioning on as high. This will also lower your home utility bills, putting money back in your pocket.
How Does Your Home Measure Up?
The average R-value for houses across the U.S. is R-13. Newer standards have upped the game and increased the standard R-value to 19. For roofs, typical R-value is either 30 or 40.
If you’re wondering what your home’s R-value is, have a home energy assessment conducted. This can tell you what your home’s R-value is and suggest various ways to improve your home’s insulation and lower your expenses.
How to Affect Your Home’s R-Value
Obviously, insulation matters and upgrading or adding insulation will affect your home’s R-value.
Energy efficient window treatments also play a role in your home’s R-value. The right window treatments can prevent cool air from escaping through air leaks or block the sun’s glare from heating up your home.
Anywhere your home is leaky, air can more easily flow in and out. Consider hiring a contractor to seal roof leaks, tighten loose siding, and address any other home exterior problems that negatively impact your home’s energy efficiency.
Now that you understand the concept of R-value, you can better decide where to invest money to improve your home’s energy efficiency and lower your expenses.