And while many Floridians are expecting temperatures to drop as we get into the winter months, right now air conditioners are still humming across the state. The downside of living somewhere that’s warm for so many months of the year? You nearly faint every time your energy bill arrives. So what can you do about high energy costs? Make sure your home is properly insulated! Insulation serves as a barrier between you and the outside world. It keeps that air conditioned air inside so you don’t have to spend so much on cooling costs. How do you even begin to assess your insulation needs? Start by learning about the insulation ratings and the different kinds of insulation ratings.
What Are Insulation Ratings?
There are many different types of insulation, and they vary in effectiveness. Each type of insulation has an R-Value, which is defined as the ability to resist heat flow. The higher an insulation’s R-Value, the better it is at preventing heat loss and air escape. The following table gives examples of common types of insulation and their average R-Values.
Type of Insulation R -Value
Kraft Faced Batt R-2.9 to R-3.8 per inch of thickness
Unfaced Batt R-2.9 to R-3.8 per inch of thickness
Cellulose R-3.1 to 3.8 per inch of thickness
Spray Foam R-3.7 to R-6.2 per inch of thickness
What Insulation is Best for Your Home?
When you know some insulation is better at resisting heat flow than others, it might be tempting to just purchase the insulation with the highest R-Value and call it a day. But that might not be the best option for your home (or for your budget). The types of insulation you need depends on many factors, such as where you live
Clearly, different areas of the United States have different climates. While Floridians are no strangers to big weather events, we don’t often have to deal with intense cold or snow. Of course, you still need insulation to keep out the warm summer air! However, because we don’t have the same weather across the country, we don’t have the same insulation standards across the country. Energy Star’s map of recommended home insulation shows that the majority of Florida is within Zone 2. This zone has a recommended R-Value of 30 to 60 for an un-insulated attic, R25 to R38 for an attic with existing insulation, and R13 to R19 for the floor. Each state does have their own minimum insulation requirements, which are often lower than the levels recommended by the Department of Energy.