What Does the "R-Value" of a Window Represent?
Although windows appear to be a straightforward aspect of construction, they can be deceptive and easily make or break a building project. This is because of a window’s R-value. This value is often unseen but has a major effect on the building's long-term energy efficiency.
Not only are windows important in terms of aesthetics and lighting, but they also are almost important to the building’s envelope. Therefore, when it comes to installing windows, the R-value is a crucial element to consider.
WHAT IS AN R-VALUE?
An R-value is the calculation of heat resistance. It is often used to refer to the general insulating value of the window. An R-value is calculated by taking the U-value and dividing it by 1. Higher R-values indicate higher heat resistance. For example, an R-value of 3.88 is a better insulator than one with an R-value of 3.49.
Finding the right R-value will depend on where you live. Places that need more insulation should opt for a higher R-value window.
WHY DOES THE R-VALUE MATTER?
There is a fine balance between how much natural light and solar heat can enter and escape the building. Too high or low an R-value for a specific construction may mean the client must continually invest extra money for heating or cooling.
R-value directly impacts how much electricity is required for temperature control. Thus, an appropriate R-value is crucial for ensuring a space has a consistent and comfortable temperature. This can greatly reduce the electric bill and a house’s carbon footprint.
HOW CAN I BE SURE THE WINDOWS HAVE AN APPROPRIATE R-VALUE?
Your best option will always be to reach out to qualified and experienced companies to help you make the best decision possible. Westerly Restoration offers professional window installation in British Columbia that can help guide you through the process - without sacrificing the appeal of your building envelope.
Westerly Restoration provides building envelope integrity inspections and restoration in Surrey, BC and the entire Greater Vancouver area. If you have any questions about this article or would like to talk to us about building envelopes or restoration, please call us at (778) 881-2877 or use the convenient form on our Contact page.