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It’s all about the resistance

R-Value is expressed as the thickness of the material divided by the thermal conductivity. It determines the level of resistance to heat flow, and the higher the number, the greater the insulating power. Since heat travels, heat flows out in the winter and flows in during the summer. With proper insulation, the heat flow is reduced, so the energy is used more efficiently, resulting in lower heating and cooling cost.

Different insulation products have varied R-values, and, if the product has properties that settle, it will lose some of its strength over time. Recommended R-values for insulation differ based on geographic location.  The colder the climate, the higher the R-Value requirement.

Closed-cell polyurethane spray foam maintains its R-Value regardless of climate and extreme shifts in temperature. As such, Spray Foam insulation with a high R-Value will keep the facility or residence cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, thereby reducing the need for a larger HVAC system.

Comparative R-Values:

Spray foam ranges between 3.5 and 7.0 per inch: Air tight and never loses density

Fiberglass = 3.2: Loses density over time and allows for air filtration

Cellulose = 3.5: Allows for air filtration

R-Value in New York

Homeowners in New York will need to consider their specific weather conditions together with other factors including the age of their home and home heating method to determine the optimal R-Value for their spray foam insulation.  New York is considered to be in climate zone 4 according to the the International Energy Conservation Code which is a cold, mixed- humid climate.  Recommended R-Values for New York are as follows: attics  R38-R60, cathedral ceiling R30-R38, wall cavity R13- R15 , wall insulation sheathing R2.5 – 6 (depending on your heating method) , and for floors is R25- R30.
If you are adding insulation to your New York attic, these are the recommended R-Values. For uninsulated attics use R38-$60, for existing 3-4 inched of insulation use R38 and for Floors use R25-R30.

SmartSeal has years of experience in determining the correct R-Value for your home or business.  Contact SmartSeal by filling out the form to the right and get a free spray foam insulation quote.


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