ICF R-Value: Insulated Concrete Forms for Better Home Insulation
When it comes to R-value and insulation, it’s important to choose the highest quality materials at the best price on the market. But what exactly is R-value and what is the best insulation for your home or business?
What is R-Value:
R-value is a measurement of thermal resistance that a material has, representing how well heat conducts through the material at a designated thickness. The higher the R-value of your wall or insulation, the more effective it is as an insulator. This means that if you live in a cold climate, you want to increase your R-value to as high as possible to withstand the harsh cold winter winds.
How do you calculate r-value
You can calculate R-values by dividing your material’s thickness (in feet or meters) by the Thermal conductivity of the material (usually listed as the K-value or Lamda Value (λ)). The simple formula is (ft^2) x (°F) x (hr/Btu). BTU is a measurement of Thermal Energy and stands for British Thermal Units.
How does ICF compare to traditional wood frame?
Most traditional wood frame homes in the New England area are insulated with fiberglass insulation. Fiberglass provides the walls with an R-value of about R-11 or R-13, depending on the width. However, the problem with insulating a wood frame home is that the R-value provided by the fiberglass is only present in areas where the insulation can be placed. This translates to about 25% of the home having practically zero insulation value.
Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) provide a simple solution that provides great insulation. When you use ICF, your entire structure is covered by interlocking blocks that provide complete insulation on both your interior and exterior walls, giving your home the ICF Effect.
What is the ICF Effect?
The ICF effect is a series of benefits provided when you build with ICF forms. Due to the interlocking patterns, your home is automatically equipped with continuous insulation throughout the walls, floors, ceilings, and even roofing.
This provides an airtight structure with a built-in vapor barrier to keep out harmful gases and pollution. Additionally, the higher R-value of ICF forms eliminates thermal gapping and reduces heat loss throughout the entire structure, helping homeowners save up to 50% on energy bills while increasing the general health and safety of the home.
To simplify things, the higher the R-value, the better it maintains heat inside the building. Heat conducts slower through materials with a high R-value. When considering the R-value of your home, it’s important to calculate both your interior and exterior R-value and consider what is the best value for your project.
So ask yourself, when it comes to R-value and insulation, is ICF the best solution for your long-lasting home?