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R-value

By DOE

An R-value indicates an insulation's resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-value, the greater the insulating effectiveness.

 

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The R-value depends on the type of insulation and includes its material, thickness and density. When calculating the R-value of a multilayered installation, add the R-values of the individual layers. Installing more insulation in your home increases the R-value and the resistance to heat flow.

The effectiveness of an insulation's resistance to heat flow also depends on how and where the insulation is installed. For example, insulation that is compressed will not provide its full rated R-value. The overall R-value of a wall or ceiling will be somewhat different from the R-value of the insulation itself because some heat flows around the insulation through the studs and joists. Therefore, it's important to properly install your insulation to achieve the maximum R-value.

The amount of insulation or R-value you'll need depends on your climate, type of heating and cooling system and the section of the house you plan to insulate.

 

Determining Proper R-Value – per Oak Ridge National Laboratory & DOE
http://www.ornl.gov/sci/roofs+walls/insulation/ins_16.htm

The R-Value of Wood

In a log home, the wood helps provide some insulation. Wood's thermal resistance or resistance to heat flow is measured by its R-value. The higher the R-value, the more thermal resistance.

The R-value for wood ranges between 1.41 per inch (2.54 cm) for most softwoods and 0.71 for most hardwoods. Ignoring the benefits of the thermal mass, a 6-inch (15.24 cm) thick log wall would have a clear-wall (a wall without windows or doors) R-value of just over 8.

Compared to a conventional wood stud wall [3½ inches (8.89 cm) insulation, sheathing, wallboard, a total of about R-14] the log wall is apparently a far inferior insulation system. Based only on this, log walls do not satisfy most building code energy standards. However, to what extent a log building interacts with its surroundings depends greatly on the climate. Because of the log's heat storage capability, its large mass may cause the walls to behave considerably better in some climates than in others.

Logs act like "thermal batteries" and can, under the right circumstances, store heat during the day and gradually release it at night. This generally increases the apparent R-value of a log by 0.1 per inch of thickness in mild, sunny climates that have a substantial temperature swing from day to night. Such climates generally exist in the Earth's temperate zones between the 15th and 40th parallels.

 

 

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R-value:  Created on June 4th, 2009.  Last Modified on January 25th, 2012

 

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