When it comes to insulating your home, there are two main decisions to make. What insulating material and which R-value will you use? Generally we’re taught that the higher home insulation R-values, the better the insulation. But are the R-values consistent year-round?
Research shows that home insulation R-values change as the outdoor temperature changes. Some types of insulation get better at insulating your home as the temperature outside drops while others begin to perform a little less efficiently. For instance, typical fiberglass rolled insulation does better at insulating your home from colder winter temperatures than from the summer heat. It may reflect its true R-19 value in February but may only insulate at an R-13 value or less in the summer.
Conversely, polyiso insulation actually performs a bit worse when outdoor temperatures begin to drop, making it an inappropriate choice for homeowners in the colder climates, but perfectly fine for those in southern California who experience more moderate winters and hotter summers.
Why does this happen? The gas that resides inside the foam has a pretty high dew point, so it doesn’t take a significant drop in temperature to cause condensation. This can lower polyiso insulation’s R-values by as much as 25 percent, allowing more energy to escape the home and raising utility bills.
What does all of this mean for you? As a homeowner, it’s important to choose the rightinsulation for your home. Knowing that some insulation types perform better under specific conditions will go a long way to ensuring that your home is as well-insulated as possible while helping protect your monthly utility bill budget.
For more information on home insulation R-values or any other home comfort issues, contact the pros at Pacific Aire. We’re proud to serve homeowners in and around Santa Barbara and Ventura.
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