Tag Archives: Thermal Insulation

R-values: Controversy and performance values (cont’d)

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Photo © BigStockPhoto/ Leung Cho Pan

The first article in this two-part series lays the groundwork for this discussion on R-values and their use as a metric for thermal insulation performance. Now, in this second part, the author examines the real-world use of it as a gauge for ensuring insulation products function as intended.1

When it was created, R-value was really the only useful tool in evaluating the effectiveness of the available building insulations, among other materials. After the R-value rule was instituted, the energy efficiency of buildings improved, as well as the nation’s energy conservation effort and the marketplace and technology for insulations. Today, though, most of the insulation industry knows better, and R-values may well be dismissed as meaningless numbers on an insulation package that help to better organize warehouses. Continue reading

R-values: Controversy and performance values

By Ken Wells

Insulated floors, walls, and ceilings resulting in the highest percentage of air infiltration—which greatly affects R-value—it is imperative these areas have an accurate gauge of performance.  Image © www.energydetectivetn.com

Insulated floors, walls, and ceilings resulting in the highest percentage of air infiltration—which greatly affects R-value—it is imperative these areas have an accurate gauge of performance.
Image © www.energydetectivetn.com

What exactly is R-value? This question is not asked often enough in today’s environmentally conscious design/construction industry. However, an even better question may be, whether R-value is still a valid unit of measurement for the performance of insulation products. (And, if not, why is it being used as the predominate gauge to compare them.) To answer these questions, this two-part series discusses how R-value came to be and how it is used.1 Continue reading