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In the building and construction industry the efficiency of insulation is rated in terms of thermal resistance (heat flow), called R-value.  If you want to insulate your home effectively then you want a high R-value.  To insure that companies don’t misrepresent R-value or use deceptive and misleading claims to consumers the Federal Trade Commission governs claims about R-values.


There are two ways R-value is reported.  One is at the time of manufacture.  Because the R-value of a product may deteriorate over time there has been controversy with this method.  The second way an R-value can be reported is as a “settled” value.  For example if insulation has a fifteen year lifespan and we know it’s R-value changes over time then reporting the “settled” value is important.  Critics argue this is a more fair assessment.  When making a purchasing decision it’s important to know which way the R-value is being reported for the product you are purchasing so you can estimate the lifetime value or cost..


Choose the right R-Value


Manufacturer R-values apply only to properly installed insulation.  With that in mind here are some tips when considering the right R-value for your home:


  1. The R-value of an insulating material depends on the type of material, its thickness, and its density.
  2. In calculating the R-value of a multi-layered installation such as traditional insulation covered by a radiant barrier, the R-values of the individual layers are added.
  3. When installing insulation to obtain maximum efficiency it’s important to take measures to seal air leaks.
  4. Adding materials such as sheetrock and siding to enclose insulation provides additional, but very little R-value.


There are recommended R-values from the U.S. Department of Energy (Energy Star) based on your location in the U.S.  The recommendations consider the general local energy costs for heating and cooling as well as the local climate.  Click here to find the recommended R-value for your location.


SETI Logo 150 Pixel TestSmart Energy Today, Inc.™ is a certified installer of traditional and reflective insulation systems.   The company’s feature product is Sol-Blanket Insulation™.  Sol-Blanket Insulation™ acts as a radiant and protective barrier as well as insulation and complements traditional insulation.  Smart Energy Today, Inc.™ is located in Olympia and serves all of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, California and Pennsylvania.  Specializing in the installation of insulation and solar equipment, Smart Energy Today, Inc.™ offers products that are able to exist for a long time without significant deterioration saving you money and making your home or business warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.  Smart Energy Today, Inc.™ never wants a complaint and always strives for positive reviews.