What is the R-value of an Insulation

The maximum thermal performance of insulation is measured and communicated easily through the so-called R-value. R-value is thus a numeric value that indicates how well an insulated, two-dimensional barrier will prevent the transmission of temperature between spaces. R-value is a construction term that is given as per unit area, or as R-value per square metre. It is calculated as temperature difference divided by the heat flux through the insulation.

What Defines the R-value

R-value is a factor of used materials, structure of the insulation, and quality of the insulation work.

Different materials can have dramatically different R-values. For instance, plastic foams, fibre structures, and structural insulated panels can have a high value. In contrast, simple concrete, glass or hardwood may perform very poorly.

The thicker the insulation, the higher its R-value. The more material is being used, the more efficiently the resulting insulation will prevent heat transmission. Multiple layers can also increase the value. Finally, the quality of the work influences the value through leaks or deficiencies. Bad quality work can lead to sub-par performance of the insulation. While some insulation work can be done as DIY, it is often recommended or necessary to contract a certified professional.

Where is R-value Necessary

It is vital to understand and be able to use R-value when planning a renovation or a building project. It is necessary to be able to comprehend R-values to source the materials and contractors for a project. R-values are also extensively used when requesting quotes and estimates of the projects. Often it is necessary to indicate the desired R-value of the insulation for the contractor to decide which materials to use and to define a cost-estimate.

R-value is also an important indicator that will define the value of property later on when it is being sold or rented for a specific purpose. The R-value will influence the energy efficiency and the user comfort of a space.