What Does R40 Insulation Mean?

Eco Spray Insulation - What Does R40 Insulation Mean?

Home insulation in Ontario is very important for staying warm through the cold winters and beating the heat during hot summers. In home comfort and energy efficiency, air sealing also plays an important role, it works alongside insulation to provide a layer of protection between the home’s inhabitants and weather outside. In the market, you will find out that there are plenty of insulation types and all of them are made differently. Hiring an insulation contractor can help you determine the areas of home that can be insulated, what type of insulation to use in order to provide you with the biggest benefits for the lowest cost possible.

What is R-Value? 

The R-Value measures the capability of an insulation system to keep a building compact and block heat flow. The higher the R-Value, the greater the insulating effectiveness power and resistance to heat flow.  In other words, the material with a high R-Value is a better insulator than the material with a lower value. The amount of insulation needed depends on the type of insulation you are using, climate, type of heating, the R-Value you want to achieve, and the size of the space you are insulating. R-Value is not the only thing you need to consider when choosing the insulation you use in your house. Airtightness is also important because air leakage accounts for 40 percent of a home’s energy loss.

But a higher R-Value isn’t always required for every home because there is no “best” R-Value. The requirements for certain R-Values are within the Ontario Building Code. Based on its climate different zones require a different minimum R-Value. Properties that are located in cold climates require a minimum R-Value of 6, while properties located in warmer climates require an R-Value of 3 or 4. The one that suits your environment’s unique conditions most effectively is the best insulation R-Value.

What are Some Common R-Values?

The total R-Value of a wall or ceiling, depending on application, may need to be higher in which case, a thicker layer of insulation or a more effective type will be required. Which will lead to a higher overall R-Value within the house. The R-Value of an insulative material is measured “per inch”, which indicates the insulative material’s ability to resist heat per inch of thickness. The R-Value of a wall or ceiling measures the insulation material’s ability to resist heat flow. The highest R-Value when measured by inch spray foam has it at about 3.7-6.5 per inch, open and closed cell respectively. Blown-in fiber insulation is at about 3.5 per inch and fiberglass batts are at about 2.9 per inch.

What Does R40 Insulation Mean?

A few years ago attic blown-in insulation in Ontario was R40, and its thickness was about 10 inches of blown-in cellulose and more than 12 inches of blown-in fiberglass. But now it has changed and according to the Ontario Building Code 2020-2021 and to the professionals, the recommended R-Value for attic insulation in Ontario is between R50 and R60, 18 inches blown-in cellulose and 22 inches blown-in fiberglass. Keep in mind that if you insulate your attic not only, you will keep indoor temperatures comfortable and consistent, but also it will create a barrier to sound.

Also, air sealing is very important because air can leave through the many leaks in the attic, or air can enter from outside and can account of heat loss. Poor attic insulation is responsible for 25 percent to 30 percent of heat loss. A higher R-Value means a better-insulated attic. If you have already insulated your attic, you can do a calculation to see the R-Value just by looking at the type of insulation:

  • Rock Wool –  looks like real wool and you may find it in black, yellow, and gray color.  2.8 * Insulation depth = R-Value
  • Fiberglass – looks like loose fibers with a light pink, white or yellow color. 
  • 2.5 * Insulation depth = R-Value
  • Cellulose – looks like small gray flat pieces of fibers.
  • 3.7 * Insulation depth = R-Value

Why is Spray Foam Insulation the Best?

In comparison to other types of insulation, spray foam is more environmentally friendly. Spray foam insulation is known also as foaming insulation or sprayed insulation. This type of insulation is a two-part liquid insulation material that insulates and air seals wherever it is applied in the property. And air sealing a building helps address moisture which reduces the risk for mold and mildew growth. There are two types of spray foam, open and closed cells.

Open cell is used for interior applications such as the underside of roof decks, attics, wall cavities, basement walls, etc. Open-cell foams low-dense structure allows moisture permeability, to help contribute to moisture management, and provides sound dampening qualities. Its R-Value is 3.5 per inch.

While closed-cell insulation is used in exterior and interior applications. It is a rigid material that helps reject lots of water, adds wall racking strength as well as impact resistance. Closed-cell foam has a higher R-Value than any insulation, it ranges from 5.0 to 7.0 per inch.

Regarding the thickness of the spray foam insulation, it depends on certain factors. Ontario Building Code recommends that the insulation levels should be relative to the part of the structure being insulated and to the climate zone. It is very important to examine also the degree of moisture permeability that is needed. These are the key factors that can determine the R-Value and also which type of insulation open or closed cell should be installed.

Choose Eco Spray Insulation

It is sufficient for the average homeowner to understand the basics of R-Values. Although it is important to have a professional contractor managing the installation. Our insulation professionals have extensive product knowledge and experience, they can access, interpret R-Values and performance in order to deliver short and long-term benefits.

If you would like to have one of our insulation experts inspect the insulation in your house, Eco Spray Insulation offers homeowners free insulation estimates to help you to get started. We install quality products and provide a fully comprehensive approach, that includes insulation and air sealing. Contact us at 1-416-860-6664, or by email at [email protected] and our Professional Team will be happy to assist you.

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