Sunrooms By Brady Sunrooms By Brady

July 10, 2012

What is the difference between R values and U values when talking about insulation?

Filed under: Insulation — Tags: , , , — Sunrooms by Brady @ 9:45 am

InsulationIt’s important to use the right materials when building any part of your home or you could be looking at some serious unexpected damage from the weather, pests, or any number of problems. Here at Brady-Built Sunrooms, we like to keep our customers informed so they understand the choices we’ve made in building their top quality sunroom.

The R value is a standard measurement of how well the materials used in your roof, floors and walls can resist heat loss. Products with high R values are very energy efficient, which means your home will stay warm longer. The R value of a product can vary due to what it is made from and how thick the pieces are. For example, a piece of fiberglass insulation that is two inches thick will usually have an R value of 7, while a piece of fiberglass insulation made for a 2×6 framed wall has an R value of 19 (actual thickness is 5-1/2”).

The U value is a measurement of how well a whole structure can resist heat loss. In layman’s terms, this means the U value tells you how well the combination of materials used in your home prevent heat from leaving or in the summer, heat from getting in. The U value should be low for maximum energy efficiency. In warm climates, homeowners may not think that a low U value is important when shopping for windows or specifying wall insulation, but it is just as useful to keep hot air outside the house as it is keeping it inside in cooler climates.

The U value of a room can be calculated if you have all the R values of the individual materials involved.  Simply add all the R values together and take the inverse of that sum. This calculation can be expressed with this formula:

U = 1 / ∑ R

Brady-Built Sunrooms uses the best windows and insulating materials available. If you have questions about the kind of materials used in your home, you should consult an architect or other qualified building professional.

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