What R-Value Does My Attic Insulation Need?
Published on August 16, 2019
Certainly, we all want to live a more sustainable lifestyle, and it starts around our homes when we look at how much attic insulation we have installed in our home. At EcoComfort, we can help you understand all things attic insulation in Toronto when you need help with the upgrade of your home’s needs. Let’s face it, burning fossil fuels in excess can be a hazard to the environment as greenhouse gases will be what accelerates climate change, something we can all do without. Your R-value attic insulation needs are key to reducing your fuel consumption, and slowing the release of emissions. Experts have told us time and again that no attic insulation or insufficient attic insulation is responsible for 20 percent of heat loss that a home experiences even with adequate protection elsewhere in the home. R-value attic insulation needs in a home are determined by several factors that need to be taken into account when buying insulation for your attic. Climate and weather will play an important part in the decision you will make, but before you do, do understand the R-value attic insulation needs your home has?
What Does R-Value Represent?
R-value, in simplest terms, is thermal resistance. It is the capacity that any insulation material has to stop heat flow from leaving your home. The higher the R-value that you have in your home, based on the density of insulation installed, the greater the insulation power that the insulation will provide. When we talk about insulation density, it is the amount of insulation installed in any home. Provincial regulations for any retrofit or new construction project demand 22” - loose-fill - as the minimum amount to be installed in your attic. But, it takes a specific calculation to determine effective R-value attic insulation needs in your home.
Why Does R-Value Matter for Attic Insulation?
The higher the R-value of attic insulation in your home will be directly reflected in your energy savings. No insulation, or old insulation that holds little or no R-value will mean that you have heat loss, requiring your home heating system to overcompensate. Another factor in the R-value question is whether you have vapour and moisture barriers in between the decking of your roof and the insulation. The blockage you receive from the barriers will help increase the R-value because they are reducing the heat loss, improving the thermal resistance in the process. Once installed, higher R-value insulation will keep your home warmer in the winter, and cooler in the summer at a reduced cost.
What Factors Affect R-Value Required for My Attic Insulation?
It starts with nominal and effective R-value insulation, as the determining factors that will identify the true thermal resistance of the insulation you install. Nominal R-value is what the manufacturer will say is the R-value of the insulation, but the effective R-value is what will tell you about the performance of the insulation you install. When you consider your options for insulation, review the major brands on the market. In insulation, you only get what you pay for, and if you scrimp on the insulation, you will see a lower level performance. The R-value attic insulation needs in your home will depend on the effective R-value.
To get the most out of the insulation, you need a professional to install the product. The R-value attic insulation needs of your home should be determined by a contractor. A contractor with a track record of the insulation installation that has met the goal of increased R-value is a good place to start. Another aspect of insulation installation is the problems encountered when the installation process is enacted. Pipes that aren’t insulated, poor venting, and air leaks are common in most cases. These problems will need to be addressed during the installation phase. Density and thickness aren’t always the great panacea they are made out to be. Blown-in insulation will settle over time and reduce the effectiveness of the R-value, you can over insulate, but that comes at an increased cost.
Is Required R-Value for Attic Insulation Different Across Insulation Types?
There are three different types of insulation on the market. Fibreglass batt insulation, spray foam insulation, and blown-in loose-fill insulation are the choices here. They all require different amounts of insulation to achieve the R-value goals. For instance, batt insulation will require more insulation by volume to deliver the same results as loose-fill or spray foam. You will require the advice from a contractor when you choose the product for your home to calculate the right amount of R-value protection for your home. To understand this, the proportion of material installed creates different densities of insulation. Spray foam will require a different amount of insulation to create the same R-value of loose-fill. When shopping for insulation, it isn’t about what you spend; it will be what you save in the long run that should determine your choices going forward.
As mentioned, heat loss costs about 20 percent of the home energy bill, and the cost of the insulation you install will be defrayed over time through the cost savings you will enjoy with high density, high R-value insulation installed in your home. You can never go wrong installing insulation; it is money saver, a planet saver and produces better environmental outcomes in your home.
A professional contractor, like ours at EcoComfort, should assess the R-value attic insulation needs of your home. We will provide an inspection of the premise, look for problems and provide solutions based on years of expertise in our industry. Our installers are the best in the business and they deliver quality results every time we insulate an attic.
All of our workmanship is guaranteed for quality, and the product we will install in your home will come with a manufacturer’s warranty for quality. We have serviced the Greater Toronto Area for decades and our service is well known, and well regarded, as a beacon of the insulation industry.
For a no-obligation quote, to determine the R-value attic insulation you need in your home, call us at EcoComfort today at 416.333.4554.