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Thursday, April 27 2023


Understanding the R-Value


It is important to measure insulation through a slightly different lens. Rather than focusing on which insulation is better, it is more important to achieve the recommended R-value for specific areas of your home's shell.

There are two important things to familiarize yourself with as it relates to R-value.


1. The R-Value in "Lay" Terms

We measure insulation by its R-value. 

Insulation has one job - to resist heat flow.  The higher the R-value, the better the insulation resists the transfer of heat. 

maryland insulation r-value

Attic insulation can have a huge impact on your comfort, energy bill, and HVAC performance.  A well-insulated attic can make an old heating and cooling system seem like new.

Attic insulation in Maryland homes is key to comfort each season.

Summer: Attic insulation keeps the hot attic air from getting inside.

Winter: Attic insulation prevents the warm inside air from escaping.  

The attic is the most important place to insulate first. Other areas should also be treated such as basements, overhangs, and crawl spaces.

 

2. Maryland Insulation R-Value Chart

You can use this later to compare to what you currently have.


BOUNDARY LOCATION
REQUIRED R-VALUE MARYLAND

 
Attic Flat
Ending R-value of 49 or as space allows
Attic Slope
Ending R-value of 38 or as space allows
Vertical Wall
(basement, crawl space, knee wall)
Ending R-value of 11 or greater
Crawl Space Ceiling
Ending R-value of 25 or as space allows
Below Cantilever
Ending R-value of 25 or as space allows
Rim Joist
(top of foundation wall in basement)
Ending R-value of 19 or greater


Determine what Type of Insulation You HaveMaryland Attic Insulation Types

Different attic insulation materials and levels yield wide-ranging R-values. 

So, it is first important to determine the type of insulation that is in your attic. 

Typical Insulation Materials Found in Maryland Attics

  • Fiberglass batts
  • Loose-fill fiberglass
  • Loose-fill cellulose
  • Mineral wool
  • Two-part spray foam 


Identifying the Most Common Maryland Insulation Types
 

Cellulose Loose Fill

General Characteristics

  • Grey in color
  • More dusty and clingy than other materials
  • Has bits of newspaper in it
  • Good fire/mold retarder w/ additives
     

loose cellulose insulation r-value


Rolled Fiberglass Batt Insulation

General Characteristics

  • Typically referred to as batt insulation
  • Has the kraft paper or aluminum foil on one side
  • Recognizable due to the "Pink Panther" commercials
  • Must be installed flawlessly (unforgiving)
  • Low R-value per inch if not installed properly
     

fiberglass batt insulation r-value 

 

Maryland Attic Insulation Company

 


Fiberglass Loose Fill

General Characteristics

  • Typically white shreds, pink squares or yellow shreds
  • Much less dusty
  • Lower cold weather performance than cellulose
     

Insulation code Maryland

Home Insulation Contractor Maryland


Determine Your Attic Insulation's Condition

The condition of the existing insulation in an attic is also important. Obtaining the information will assist in generating a reliable return on investment reporting. Current conditions can also reveal clues about future comfort gains.

R-value can be misleading if several factors are not met:

Your insulation should get a rating of "poor", "moderate" or "well" insulated.
 

Attic Insulation in Poor Condition

Insulation with large gaps and voids.  Missing insulation greater than 2% of the insulated area.

Example of Poor Insulation Coverage

 

 

Attic Insulation in Moderate Condition

Insulation with defects and gaps around wiring, electrical outlets, plumbing, and other intrusions. Rounded edges or "shouldered". The amount of fill is incomplete, but rarely dips less than 30% of the intended thickness. Gaps and spaces running clear through the insulation should be no more than 2% of the insulated area.

moderate insulation coverege

 

 

Well Insulated Attic Characteristics

The insulation has no large gaps or voids around obstructions. The insulation appears to fit in any cavity side-to-side and top-to-bottom. The insulation appears to be around wiring and other services in the area.

a well insulated attic diagram
 


Different Insulation Types & Conditions = Different R-Values

The values for the corresponding condition of your attic insulation can be multiplied by the number of inches you have to see where your attic falls on the scale.

 

  • Loose Fill Cellulose
    New: 3.60 R-value per inch
    Existing Well: 3.60
    Existing Moderate: 3.13 R-value per inch
    (Example: 6" = R19; 10" = R31)
    Existing Poor: 2.7 R-value per inch

     
  • Fiberglass Batt Insulation
    New: 3.14 R-value per inch
    Existing Well: 2.67
    Existing Moderate: 2.10 R-value per inch
    (Example: 6" = R13; 10" = R21)
    Existing Poor: 1.26 R-value per Inch

     
  • Loose Fill Fiberglass
    New: 3.14 R-value per inch
    Existing Well: 3.14
    Existing Moderate: 2.73 R-value Per inch
    (Example: 6" = R16; 10" = R27) 
    Existing Poor: 2.36

How Much Does Insulation Cost in Maryland?

Home Energy Audit Maryland

 

 

Watch a uniformly blown cellulose attic insulation job in progress!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maryland Insulation Rebates


How the Insulation Program Works

Maryland Utilities (BGE & Pepco) offer a portfolio of programs promoting energy efficiency and conservation, including rebates, education, and services.  The program is designed around a consultative approach.

Air sealing and insulation are considered the most important measures to complete to achieve energy efficiency - before windows, doors, and replacing older HVAC.

The initial qualifier for rebates is to get a home energy audit. 

LEARN MORE

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Maryland Residents Learn More About the Inflation Reduction Act Here
 

 

 

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Hometrust offers the official Maryland home energy audit offered through BGE and Pepco in coordination with ENERGY STAR
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Get a home energy audit & get questions answered such as:

Why is the room on the front of the house colder?
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Should I remove old insulation from my attic?
Why does my HVAC run all of the time?
Is spray foam insulation the best solution for my home?
Why are my new windows feeling drafty?
Do my walls have insulation?


 

Wanna know more about the home energy audit process?
 

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