A lot of homeowners know they need insulation around their home. Most don’t know why, though. The importance of the overall quality of your insulation makes a huge difference. The insulation you invest in will directly correlate to your comfort and energy efficiency throughout the house. If you choose the cheapest material, you’re likely to spend more over time. Your HVAC system will run double-time to keep up with the loss.
The key to insulation is R-value. R-value is a form of measurement of thermal resistance. It measures the ability of today’s top insulation for heat to transfer from one side to another. As an example, solid wood has an R-value of 1. An inch of fiberglass insulation has an R-value of 3.1 – 3.4. Cellulose has an R-value of 3.2 – 3.7.
Knowing the R-value of your insulation, or one you’re considering, will help make your decision easier.
It’s important to note that there is no standard for insulation. Here in Texas, we tend to endure hot weather for a good part of the year, with a bit of cold during the deepest parts of winter. As such, our insulation must be highly-rated to ensure our air conditioning systems don’t overheat while trying to keep the home cool.
Typically, for a southern climate, it’s recommended to have R-38, which is around 13” to 14” deep. The insulation in your attic is most important. Furthermore, the older your home, the more insulation you’ll want. For a 10-year-old home or older, you’ll want more insulation. Either fiberglass or mineral wool insulation are great choices for an older household.