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What is Your Insulation's R-factor?

Water damage can easily lower its energy efficiency, but these tips can help.

In Maryland, the homeowners learned that water could easily damage insulation, making it less effective by lessening its R-factor. The R-factor is the insulation's ability to keep heat in during the winter, and heat out during the summer. It is listed right on the insulation: the higher the number, the better it works as a barrier. Generally, the higher the R-factor, the thicker and more energy efficient the insulation.

Exterior walls will usually use insulation with an R-factor of 13, floors and crawl spaces R-19, attics will use R-30 or higher. Rolled insulation should maintain its R-factor for a lifetime, if it's installed properly. To keep your R up to par, here are a few tips:

  • When installing insulation, fill in all the gaps to maintain a consistent R-factor.
  • Avoid packing down insulation. It will crush the air pockets and lower the R-factor.
  • Contact your local utility company or a licensed professional if you're unsure which R-factor insulation to use in a particular location.

Insulation with the proper R-factor will keep your home warmer in winter, cooler in summer and your wallet fatter year round!

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