SOLVED! - R13 Vs. R15 Insulation: Overviews

All in all, it’s safe to say that the R-value of insulation materials is a great indication of their performance. As the R-value of insulations increases, their ability to insulate rises as well. Nowadays, while the R-value of insulation materials could get as high as R60, most homeowners consider R13 and R15 to be adequate. That being said, with different people looking for different things, the topic of R13 vs. R15 insulation attracts conflicting opinions.

A Comparison Of The Values 

R13 vs. R15: Which Insulation Is Better? – Upgraded Home

Plan to insulate your house but have a hard time choosing between R13 and R15 for insulation? Then this article may be able to help you out. Down below is all the information you must keep in mind about how the values fare against each other.

Energy Efficiency 

In layman’s terms, the more insulated a house is, the more energy-efficient it gets. With the insulation keeping the interior temperature at reasonable levels, people don’t have to rely too much on cooling/heating appliances for temperature regulation. Since the R-value is directly proportional to the ability to insulate of insulation materials, R15 is superior to R13 regarding energy efficiency. Needless to say, cost-conscious homeowners who want to cut down utility bills deem R15 to be the winner in R13 vs. R15 insulation.

Moisture Control

Generally speaking, insulation affects moisture control of households to a certain extent but it’s just one of many factors. Usually, people believe that R15 controls moisture a bit better than R13 but the difference in capability is minimal. Hence, once it comes to moisture control, homeowners could go for either of the values and the result should be more or less the same. However, it’s worth pointing out that the R-value would drop if insulations get wet so be thorough.

Pest Prevention 

Owing to the nature of insulation materials, they cannot stop pests from making their way into residences by themselves. To get the insulation to repel pests, it’s necessary to treat them with particular pesticides in advance. Nowadays, it’s possible to apply pesticide treatment to the majority of insulation materials when a need arises no matter their R-value. Thus, in terms of pest prevention, no one comes out on top in R13 vs. R15 insulation.

Noise Reduction 

In the case that people get the installation right, insulations could effectively and efficiently reduce the level of noise over time. Both R13 and R15 do a good job of keeping indoor and outdoor sound from disturbing homeowners. Because of that, there is no need to bother with noise reduction while choosing the R-value for your insulation. Regardless of your choice, your insulation material is going to keep the noise level from becoming unbearable.

How To Choose Between R13 And R15: Advice 

The differences in preferences mean there is consensus between homeowners on R13 vs. R15 insulation. Still, if you wish to make a wise decision, it’s suggested that you check out the following recommendations.

  • Think about the location: If you live in a cold area, you need to stick to insulations with R15 value. On the other hand, if your location is warm around the year, R13 insulations should be adequate.
  • Keep the orientation in mind: For spots that come into contact with sunlight, you could use insulations with R13 value. Conversely, if you have to insulate corners of the house that don’t receive any sunlight, it’s best to go for R15 insulations.
  • Take wallet into account: The higher the R-value, the more expensive the insulation. If you have money to spend, it’s a good idea to use R15 insulations for your household. Nonetheless, if your shopping budget is kind of tight, feel free to select insulations with R13 value to save a couple of bucks.

A Homeowner’s Guide For Insulation Installation 

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Assuming that you have the right tools and skills, you could set up installations on your own. Give these steps a look if you seek guidance.

Step 1: Preparation 

Gather the stuff you need for the setup process of insulation. Besides insulations materials, you have to get something to process and seal the walls, floors, etc. In addition to that, for your own well-being, you should grab personal protective equipment: goggles, gloves, respirator and so on. Certain materials would cause health issues if you mishandle them so play it safe.

Step 2: Process The Installation Surfaces

Take the time cleaning the surfaces where you intend to insulate to get rid of debris. If you come across damaged insulation materials, it’s strongly recommended that you remove them as well. Next, proceed to deal with whatever issues that you notice on the surface such as mold. Last but not least, seal the surfaces, wait for the sealants to dry then move on to the next step.

Step 3: Install The Insulation Materials 

Cover the installation surfaces in insulation materials. Naturally, for optimal results, you have to do your best to cover every nook and cranny of the surfaces. To secure insulations, you could use staples, wires and so on to prevent insulation materials from shifting. While securing insulations, it’s widely advised that you push small pieces of insulation materials into gaps. That is going to provide the installation surfaces with a complete thermal barrier.

Step 4: Wrap Up 

Trim the insulation materials on the surfaces for a snug fit. Afterward, your insulations should be good to go. Depending on the climate of your place, you may want to set up a vapor retarder to keep condensation under control. For your information, condensation reduces the R-value on insulations materials, encourages the growth of mold, etc. Therefore, if possible, you must consider shoring up your insulation with vapor retarders.


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How long do insulations last?

Quite a few factors from insulation materials to weather conditions affect the lifespan of insulation. On average, insulations should last between twenty and thirty years before people have to replace them. That being said, you still need to check up on the insulations of your house from time to time.  If left unaddressed, small issues on the insulations would grow into big headaches in a blink of an eye.

Is it wise to over-insulate?

If you use more insulation than your house requires, there is a chance it could become over-insulated. Over-insulation would lead to a couple of troubles including breathability, effects on the environment, expense, … Such troubles tend to counteract any benefits that additional insulation materials deliver to your house. Because of that, you need to calculate the amount of insulations carefully so you don’t end up using too much.

Can insulations catch on fire?

While most modern insulation materials don’t catch on fire easily, they could still burn when exposed to high temperatures for an extensive period of time. That is why you have to think about treating insulations of your house with flame retardants.

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