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What is R-Value?

Fiberglass Insulation

If you are thinking about installing insulation into your home or industrial building it is important to have an idea on what exactly R-value is.

The R in R-value rating stands for resistance, and the R value is a rating system that helps to determine the heat flow and the resistance to it, along with measuring the density, type of material and thickness of the insulation.

Insulation and R-values are judged by their heat flow, for instance, the higher the R rated value is, the better the insulation is at reducing heat flow. Though some insulation material can be larger in density than others this doesn’t necessarily reflect its R-value. Thinner and more compact insulation materials can have higher R-values due to the materials used in the construction of the insulation. Often the lesser R-value insulation materials will be thicker and larger, to compensate for the density of the lesser R value products. Also, just to confuse you even more, R values are also used by builders in construction details of your house, so remember, the R values are completely different!

So, what kind of insulation will work best for you?
This is the answer only you or insulation installer/builder can answer, but you should consider the following aspects when choosing insulation:

Price – An obvious but important factor, will the cheaper option insulate accordingly? Will I need to buy more of the cheaper option that might end up costing more money than the more expensive options? This should be the first port of call when insulating your home or residence, as it will determine the rest of the projects budget.

Materials – There is a lot of choice for materials in the insulation market. No longer restricted to only a few products that existed a few years ago, there are now products that are better suited for the environment, have longer lasting appeal, or have less health risks. Again, another important decision to mull over.

New Home / Old home – Having new homes with minimum insulation is now a mandatory requirement in New Zealand, however old homes are not so restricted. However, for your health, the health of others and the building itself, it pays to have your house, old or new, up to the national industry standards, if not excelling them.

All the different factors in purchasing and installing insulation materials can become frustrating. Ultimately, you need to understand all that your chosen insulation will offer. Will it keep your home dry, warm, and easy to heat? Will it keep you cool in summer and last for generations?
I propose your have a checklist of requirements for your buildings needs as each and every home/building in New Zealand is unique, and each will require specific insulation.

Having a little bit of know how will go along way, and don’t be afraid to shop around for the best options/prices to suit your needs, there is now plenty of options to choose from in the insulation market place.

For more advice and in depth information on specific R values and how they apply to your household/region please feel free to click on the following links below:

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