Green Tip: What is Your Chicago Home's R Factor?

Today’s Green Tip has to do with a term that’s been around for awhile, but has recently popped up more often as the Green Movement picks up steam. To put it simply, “R Factor” or “R Value” is a rating for the insulation in your home. Your floor has an R Factor, your ceiling has one and your walls do as well. The higher the number, the better the insulation. This number comes up more frequently when dealing with new construction and gut rehab homes.

What is a good R Factor?

Keeping with the trend of green building efforts, the Department of Energy developed new guidelines a few years ago for insulation and what the most economic insulation level is for your home. Click here to navigate through a helpful program that will ask you a few questions about your current or prospective home. By evaluating the information you input, the website produces recommendations for what your R Factor should be.

You will find a link to the Department of Energy’s Insulation Fact Sheet here. The Fact Sheet will answer many of your questions about different types of insulation, what to look for when buying a new home, and how to install new insulation in your existing home.

If your home’s energy efficiency is on your mind, insulation should be at the top of the list. Since insulation is directly related to how well your home retains the hot and cold air you pay to pump into it, the R Factor has a direct impact on your pocket book as well. Regardless of what the Department of Energy recommends for your R Factor, a higher rating is always better–for energy conservation and money conservation!

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