What is “R” Value and How Does it Affect Your Energy Efficiency?

From on March 02, 2012 in Energy Efficiency


In the building world, there are standards for minimum R values when erecting structures. Simply said, the R value of a product is its ability – or lack thereof – to transfer hot or cold through a product. It could also be that R Values are thermal resistances of materials.

In Ontario, for example, there are minimum R Values for new home construction. With the recent new changes to the Ontario Building Code, there are different standards for different sections depending on multiple other building systems that have gone into the design of your home. One prescription may include an R-24 overall rating for exterior walls, and an R-50 Blown in attic insulation.

For any home do-it-yourselfers, here’s a list of a few R Values for building materials that could be added to your home, or are already a part of your building system to create its current R-Value:

Batt insulation is a very common form of insulation used in new home construction. It can range from as low as R-12 to over R-40.

As you can see, insulation plays a critical role in ensuring that heat stays within your home. The R-Values of other building materials that go into a home indicate that they actually add very little thermal resistance to your house. The next home you build or decide to remodel, don’t cheap out on the insulation! Your home will be more comfortable, and of course, your bills will be lower.

For a thorough list of R values and R value formula, click here.

David Gilvesy is a guest author from Greener Ideal, an environment news and green lifestyle publication.