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Every homeowner in the US and possibly in the world understand that their energy costs break the bank. In fact, we dread that email from the energy company with our bills because we have no idea what to expect. Sure, you can install solar panels, which should put a dent in your bill, but do you want to take out a second mortgage on your home to get them? Isn’t there a cheaper, more practical way to save energy without having to rewire your entire home? Well, that’s where understanding R values can help you.

    As a homeowner, you spend a small fortune running the air conditioning during the summer and then again the heating during the winter. In most homes we’ve visited, it is because their heating and cooling aren’t operating efficiently. Essentially, leaks in your home allow air to escape and outside air to come in. If you want to reduce your energy bills, that’s something you do not want to happen.  

    That’s where investing in high-quality insulation comes in. The thickness or perhaps the effectiveness of the insulation is measured in terms of its “R-value”. This term indicates how much it can insulate your home from the outside air; it is like wearing a jacket. The thicker the coat, the less cold you will feel. However, you’ll need the home to meet a specific R-value to ensure that the temperature inside remains at a comfortable level all year round.

    So, the next question you probably want to ask is, what is an R-value? Well, that’s exactly what we’ll discuss in this article so that you know what to expect when in the market for insulation.


What in The World Are R Values?

Most insulation ratings are measured in terms of R-values. These donate the thickness per inch of the insulation. This mainly tells you how effectively it prevents heat from leaving the home. The R-values of insulation tend to vary primarily based on the density of the insulation, its thickness and the material it is made from. We’ll go a little later into the material but suffice it to say that the typical good insulation R rating ensures more efficient retention of heat or cooling in your home. But as you go up the R-value scale, the insulation will become more expensive.

    Before you invest in any insulation, it is worth checking out its R-value per inch of thickness which most manufacturers are obligated to mention. Usually, how insulation is installed will give you some ideas as to how it compares to various other types of insulation.

    Below are the methods of installation, starting with the ones that have the lowest R values to the highest:  

  • Blown-in – these are loose-fill insulation
  • Insulation blankets, also referred to as rolls and batts
  • Spray foam
  • Foam board insulation

    It is worth mentioning that the material from which the insulation is made will affect its R-value. However, it is also worth noting that vapor barriers and radiant barriers don’t have R-values.

     Our professional recommendation and something we use across all our clients is R-38 Owens Corning Pink Batt insulation. In our experience, this is the best insulation for California because it offers the right amount of insulation without breaking the bank.


In addition to the R-value, you will also want to choose the right type of insulation for the home. The good thing is that there are many to choose from, but they might not all be right for your home. The correct insulation will depend on factors such as where you live, the age of your home and its features.

The most common types of insulation materials are:

Blanket batts and rolls are almost entirely made from fiberglass or similar material. This is a good choice for floors and walls that are still unfinished. Installing them is relatively simple and inexpensive compared to other types. Plus, if you opt for fibreglass, you get the advantage of it being fireproof.

Foam board – Also referred to as rigid foam, these are more time-consuming to install, and they also need a fire-resistant cover if used in interior walls. Made almost entirely from polystyrene with newer ones from polyurethane, they can also be installed in floors, roofs and walls.

Loose fill – These types of equipment are required to install them. They are mainly made from mineral wool, fiberglass or cellulose. These can be added to otherwise hard-to-reach areas, like crawl spaces and the ceiling.

How to Achieve The Best R-Values In The Attic?

Generally, it is considered that adding more layers of insulation, akin to wearing more layers of clothing, can increase the R-value in the attic. In reality, this approach is only possible if the existing insulation layer is in good condition. That can then be layered for added protection.

For instance, if the attic is already insulated with fiberglass insulation blankets, you can further improve the R-value by installing blown-in cellulose on it. This will mean an accumulation of both R values and, thus, better thermal performance. But before you do, call us to inspect the existing insulation in the attic to determine if this approach is possible.

You Need Experts Like The Attic Doctors

When it comes to insulating your attic, there is a lot more than just the R-value of the insulation used. However, R-value is the most important step. But where you live in California or even the US plays a role in what insulation will work best for your home.

In some areas like Arizona, there are special considerations to improve the protection of your home. That said, if you’re considering attic insulation and need professional advice, we are here to help you. However, most Californians will find that R-38 Owens Corning Pink Batt Insulation is the perfect fit, and that’s what we install for our clients. 


Call now for a free attic inspection and estimate now. 714.269.6544


About Us

The Attic Doctors-Attic Cleaning Insulation Removal and Replacement Insulation Contractor Hvac contractor orange county

The Attic Doctors is a professional team of specialists, dedicated to providing a safer, comfortable, and more energy-efficient home environment to homeowners in Orange County & LA County. No matter you just purchased a brand new home, or you are at the stage when you’re going to retire and enjoy your golden years. We’re here to make sure your house is as comfy and clean as possible!

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