The Truth About R-Value

The labeled R-value found on insulation products is often misleading and does not reflect true insulating performance under real world building conditions.

Lab Tested R-value vs. Real World Thermal Performance

Understanding thermal performance will help you make the best insulation decision. Under controlled laboratory conditions, our Hybrid System has roughly the same tested R-value as fiberglass. R-value measurements are derived from small, meticulously prepared laboratory samples and do not indicate how an insulation system will perform once installed in an actual building. These laboratory tests are performed in a closed box and do not introduce any air movement or convective airflow and do not always tell the whole story.

How to Stop Heat Transfer/Loss

In order to understand how our Hybrid insulation system works, and why it is so much more effective than Fiberglass, we must first understand how heat transfer works — Conduction and Convection. Conduction is the transfer of heat through solid molecules, making it the slowest method. Convection is the transfer of heat by liquid or gas molecules moving from hot areas to cold areas. This results in a convection current that transfers heat energy from warm areas to cold areas. Heat transfer by convection, as anyone who has felt a winter draft on bare feet can attest, can be rapid and dramatic. It also accounts for 80% of heat loss in a building. Thus, most insulation methods address convection — albeit in different ways, and with different results. Fiberglass insulation slows convection, while our system stops it. As exterior temperature drops, convection currents speed up and all fiberglass insulation become less and less effective at slowing these convection currents down. As a result heat loss increases. Our system is designed to stop convection by stopping air infiltration.

Thermal Conduction: Heat moves through solid materials — quickly through good conductors such as metal, more slowly through wood, and very sluggishly through dedicated insulators. Poorly designed systems can cause excess conductive heat loss and potential building performance issues in extreme climates. Structural conduction through truss systems and solid wood rafters often lead to ice dam problems. Dimensional lumber is much more conductive than engineered I-rafters. I-rafters suffer from only 1/3 the conduction of dimensional lumber and are made without old-growth timber, making them not only more efficient but also a much more environmentally responsible choice.


Radiation: Heat also moves as infrared radiation. Radiation on a poorly insulated south facing attic wall can be sufficient enough to raise attic temperatures above freezing and accelerate ice damming.

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