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  • A Closer Look at Insulation R-Value

    Insulation is designed to retard the natural process of heat transfer. The laws of thermodynamics state that heat wants to move from warmer areas to colder ones. When the weather outside is warm, this warmth tries to enter your home to heat up the air that’s been cooled by your air conditioning system. In the winter, the warm air inside your home will try to escape to heat up the colder air outside. The efficacy of your home’s insulation in preventing this process from occurring is measured by the product’s R-value. Understanding how R-value works and the types of products available today can help you choose and install insulation with the right R-value for your needs.

    Calculating R-Value

    R-value is a measure of a material’s ability to resist heat transfer. The larger an insulating product’s R-value, the better it is at keeping the conditioned air you want inside your home and preventing the transfer of heat into or out of your living environment. R-value is calculated by measuring the amount of heat transfer that occurs through a given material per unit of area and per unit of time; while each type of insulation has a unique R-value that cannot be changed, you can increase the ability of an insulating material to resist heat by increasing the thickness of the product to achieve a higher overall R-value. This allows you to balance factors such as R-value with cost to ensure you can find an insulation product that meets both your needs and your budget. For example, a thinner insulating product with a higher R-value may be appropriate in areas of your home with fixed or limited space, such as behind walls and beneath floors. By contrast, you may opt for a thicker insulating product in an unfinished basement or attic, where you appearance doesn’t concern you.

    Recommended R-Value

    With many types of insulation and many insulating products available, it can be difficult for a homeowner to know the best R-value for the insulation in his home. The US Department of Energy has developed a list of recommended R-values for homes based on their location, which allows for the calculation of the necessary R-value for home comfort and energy efficiency due to the average temperature and weather conditions. New York and Long Island fall within the Department of Energy’s Zone 4, for which an R-value of 38-60 is recommended for attics and an R-value of 25-30 is recommended for floors. Using this information, you and your insulation installers can determine whether your existing insulation is sufficient for optimal home comfort and energy savings, or whether you might consider adding to or replacing your insulation to achieve a higher R-value and keep your energy bills as low as possible throughout the year.

    Our home insulation contractors on Long Island can help you evaluate your insulation’s current R-value to determine whether you might benefit from additional insulation installation to improve your home’s thermal stability. We can also guide you through the process of choosing the right insulation for your budget, your preferences, and your needs, including spray foam insulation and eco-friendly insulation options. You can continue reading through our blog to learn more about home insulation and its long-term value, or contact us via our website to get started on a home energy assessment today.

  • Keeping Your Home’s Insulation Healthy

    Insulation plays an important role in the comfort of your living spaces and the energy efficiency of your home. This important material sits behind walls, beneath floors, and above ceilings in spaces that are out of sight and difficult to access, which may lead you to believe that your insulation cannot be damaged by issues that affect the more visible areas of your house. However, there are several factors that can affect the condition of your insulation without your knowledge, causing it to perform poorly and possibly require replacement, depending on the type of damage and the type of insulation you have installed. If you have questions about your insulation or the steps to take if you believe it has been damaged, your Long Island insulation installer can provide you with more information and professional assistance.

    Insulation and Moisture

    Moisture is one of the most common causes of damage to all parts of the home, including the insulation. In particular, fiberglass batting insulation is highly susceptible to damage associated with moisture from leaks or high home humidity, which can reduce the efficacy of the insulation and cause mold and mildew to spread throughout the material, posing a health hazard to your family. Roof leaks are a frequent cause of moisture accumulation in your attic, while basement flooding and interior plumbing leaks can affect the condition of the insulation elsewhere in your home. Poor attic ventilation can also cause moisture to accumulate inside your attic in the form of high humidity, which frequently leads to water damage over time. If you have recently dealt with a roof leak or plumbing issue, it’s a good idea to consider the effects of this situation on your insulation. Even if your insulation won’t allow mold to grow after exposure to water , it may still shift or sag when wet, and may also transfer moisture to other materials in your home that are susceptible to mold growth.

    Insulation and Pests

    Pests are another very common cause of insulation damage. There are several pests that have the ability to damage home insulation, including termites and other insects, rodents, birds, raccoons, and bats. If you have recently suffered a pest infestation anywhere in your home, your insulation could have been damaged by this issue as well. Although spray foam insulation is typically pest-resistant, many other types of insulation, including fiberglass, foam board, and several eco-friendly products, may sustain pest-related damage, regardless of how many animals or insects were found in your home. Pests often burrow through insulation to reach your home’s interior, while some animals and insects may actually nest inside the insulation itself, leaving behind droppings and damage that can affect your indoor air quality in addition to reducing the performance of the insulation product. Hiring an insulation contractor to inspect your home’s insulation after a pest infestation is the best way to ensure that there are no lasting health or energy effects; in some cases, heavy infestation may require the replacement of the insulation in affected areas.

    Keeping your home’s insulation healthy and in good repair will keep your energy bills low and your living environment comfortable and allergen-free. We invite you to explore our website to learn more about the services offered by our insulation contractors in Long Island, including home energy audits and insulation installation and retrofitting. If you’d like more information about popular home insulation products and how to get more from your insulation, please check out our monthly blog .