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R49 Insulation Thickness: A Quick Review 

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R49 Insulation Thickness: What Do You Think It Is?


R49 Insulation Thickness: A Quick Review 

Determine how much insulation a specific area of home needs depends on the home age and local codes of buildings. Insulations are made of cellulose, foam, fibreglass and other material. All are of different thicknesses, and their R values vary. You can get the R38, R49 and R49 insulation to make the room energy efficient and warm. 

Normally the R-value of any insulating material is the difference in temperature required between the two sides to bear the heat of 1BTU per hour. R49 insulation thickness means the material takes 49 F temperature among its two sides for conducting heat of 1 BTU. Generally, the R-value is a standard set by the industry to measure the thermal resistance of the material. As the thickness increases of the insulating material, its R-value goes up. Hence, various insulating materials and their mixture will give you an R49 value, making them enough to give the required thermal resistance. But keep in mind as the material changes, the R49 thickness also changes. 

Because of their heat resistance, R49 insulation is used for attics no matter in your house’s climate zone. They are used typically in climate zones five to 8 of the United States. 

Where To Use R49 and What is Its Thickness?

If you want to re-insulate the room or plan to add a new room, you have first to determine the accurate R-value of the area where you are living. For example, homes in the United States’ northeastern parts need attic insulation with R values between 45 and 60. Whereas the house in the southwest areas normally requires insulation with R values around 25 to 35. It also keeps the home safe from cracking and is best for heat resistance. Always choose the thickness because it will make the room comfortable and cool. In warm areas, R19 or R-30 insulation is used normally. For your information, batt insulation having R30 value is 9-½ inches in thickness; on the other hand, batt insulation of R49 is around 15-½ inches. 

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What about Open Cell And Closed Cell Spray Foam: How Much Thickness They Need To Get R49?

Closed-cell insulation requires the least amount of thickness to attain R49. It means this type of material is more heat resistant. 


Let’s look into an open cell and closed cell insulation and how much thickness they need to be R49. 

  • Closed Cell Spray Foam

Our first type, closed-cell spray foam, is insulation made of small bubbles with air in them. This air is highly beneficial as it gives more insulation and prevents heat transfer. Closed-cell foams generally have less thermal conductivity when compared to cellulose fiber, mineral wool and other insulation materials. They are best as they are highly resistant to fire. That is why experts suggest using it in buildings.

As mentioned above, this material requires the least thickness to get R49 because it has an airtight formation. The R-value normally is around 6.5 per inch. Hence, we can say that this installation requires almost 7 to 8 inches to get an R49 rating; simply divide 49 by 6, and here you go. 

  • What About Open Cell Spray Foam 

It is similar to closed-cell foam insulation, but the major difference is that the cells are not enclosed. It means it manages the transfer of heat faster than the closed cell. The R-value of this type is nearly 3.5 per inch. Hence it needs 14.5 inches of insulation to get the level of R49. The great benefit of this insulation is its flexibility so that you can use it comfortably on roofs and ceilings. They also don’t need specialised tools for installation.

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R-38 Attic Insulation or R49: What Do You Think?

Different R values are needed by different climate zones, including R38- R-30, R-40, and R-49. So what do you think is better? R-38 is good for keeping the home comfortable for about six months. It is the minimum R-value and is good to protect in fall and spring. At the same time, R-49 protects in summers and winters. That is why homes in the coldest areas of the United States and Canada use R-49 insulation thickness. 

On hot and bright sunny days, you can go for R-38 if the roof gets a lot of sunlight mid-afternoon. When you use R-49, it makes the difference because now the material has more thickness, whether the outer weather is cool or hot. It will give you protection from extreme weather conditions. It can resist cold as well as heat. It also does not matter if the roof is made of different materials, such as a low-pitched roof, dark colour, or no proper ventilation. R-49 is good to go; it suits best to protect the ceilings from severe weather.  

R-38 only slows the heat loss, saves energy bills and keeps you happy. 

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Both are good in their ways and protect in different weather conditions. You must check the building codes and pick the correct R-value insulation thickness material. 

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Robert Smith
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Robert Smith

Robert Smith is a technology lover and loves to write about laptops, monitors, printers, tablets, Apple products and anything that's related to computers and games. He is passionate enough that he maintains this blog regarding tech updates on a daily basis.