• Insulation R Value – It’s Not What You Think

    Posted on October 17, 2012 by in Clean Indoor Air, Energy Efficiency & Conservation, Green your home, Tips for Home Buyers

    If you are one of the many Americans who would like to understand how to make your home more comfortable and energy-efficient during the cold months ahead of us, than you are going to enjoy this fascinating YouTube video today from Steve Maxwell.

    Steve takes us on a tour of conduction, convection, and radiation heat transfer.  He does a spectacular  job explaining how traditional fiberglass and R values don’t really represent measured insulation value consistently.

    Now watch how the foam insulation is installed.  This is just cool to watch.

    If you are building new home or just remodeling to improve energy efficiency, it will be a good benefit to do some extra homework with regards to the types of insulation and air sealing.

    In addition to the comfort and energy efficiency improvements, foam insulation does not produce any air-borne particles. This is good news for those concerned with indoor air quality. Due to the fact that it’s more water-resistant than fiberglass, it less conducive for mold growth also. Northwest Spray Foam offers a cost calculator on their site that  you can access by clicking here.  

    The insulation code and energy-efficiency requirements have changed dramatically over the last 35 years. In Washington State the first energy code was adopted in 1977 and was completely voluntary. In 1986, a statewide program was developed as the years progressed, the requirements for building efficiency changed every few years. The current code in Washington is now scheduled to be reviewed every 3 years and the most recent changes became effective July of 2013.

    These changes are significant and have far-reaching implications.  What these means is that if you’re living in a home older than 1986, you may have little or even no insulation. It also means that if you bought a new home in 2012, it may not be as energy-efficient as a home built today.

    The good news for homeowner’s in the Northwest is that our energy code is fairly comprehensive.  Energy Star actually had to make a specific program to cover the NW because an Energy Star home is represented to be 15% more energy-efficient than a home built to current code. Because the energy code in Washington is more comprehensive than say Kansas, Energy Star created the Northwest Energy Star certification. Read more about NW Energy Star homes here. 

    Search Certified NW Energy Star Homes Here:

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2 Responses so far.

  1. […] If you want to get even fancier, take a thermal image of your home.  With older homes, you may learn that you home was built without insulation or that the insulation has settled over time to create bare spots. If moisture has penetrated the building envelope, that too will compromise your homes ability to retain warmth. To understand more about heat loss and insulation check out my post Insulation R-Value, It’s not what you think. […]

  2. […] naturally because of the lack of insulation and air-sealing. Additionally as explained in my post R-Vaule It’s Not What You Think, I demonstrate that as the temperature outside becomes either warmer or cooler than the temperature […]

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