R13 Or R15 ? - Insulation - Contractor Talk

R13 Or R15 ?

 
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Old 02-17-2014, 10:36 AM   #1
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R13 Or R15 ?


In a 2x4 wall in the northeast, R13 is recommended..however, R15 is the same exact depth ( 3 1/2"). Can you then use the R15 fiberglass insulation because the depth is the same and technically wont be any more compressed?
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Old 02-17-2014, 11:11 AM   #2
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Re: R13 Or R15 ?


Either way, you have the thermal short circuit from the studs The R13 and R15 are just laboratory numbers for the insulation part of the wall. R15 should be better than R13 by a little bit in the wall. If you have steel studs instead of wood, then the R15 and R13 walls would be about the same because of high conductivity of the steel.

You will never get an R15 wall with R15 insulation if it was tested as a composite system. R19 can be as low as R9 in the wall depending on the stud material and spacing.

That is why XPS foam performs so well in the wall.

High R-values for bulk insulation are good peddling/marketing tools.

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Old 02-17-2014, 11:20 AM   #3
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Re: R13 Or R15 ?


And that is why i ONLY use insulated siding..prevents thermal bridging.
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Old 02-17-2014, 07:38 PM   #4
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Re: R13 Or R15 ?


I've built a lot of 2x4 walls with r-13 and sheathed with 1 xps, t&g. Then a brick veneer. The inspectors gave me r-19 for this wall because of the air space between the brick and the xps added 1.

So it was equal to a 2x6 wall with r-19 insulation and vinyl siding or whatever.

But I'd be interested in knowing the difference between my aforementioned wall and a 2x6 wall with osb sheathing and vinyl siding.

As concretemasonry mentioned, I think the xps sheathing adds much more than its stated r value because you are over the studs with it.
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Old 02-17-2014, 08:07 PM   #5
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Re: R13 Or R15 ?


Quote:
Originally Posted by power View Post
In a 2x4 wall in the northeast, R13 is recommended..however, R15 is the same exact depth ( 3 1/2"). Can you then use the R15 fiberglass insulation because the depth is the same and technically wont be any more compressed?
Yes. They make R-15 fiberglass insulation for 2x4 walls. I think the other responses are a little overboard...I don't imagine you plan on removing the wall and rebuilding it using an insanely different material.
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Old 02-17-2014, 08:20 PM   #6
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Re: R13 Or R15 ?


Well depending on framing factor (how many studs in a wall) & quality of insulation play a bigger factor in overall R-Value (mainly quality of install)

R15 24 oc grade 3 with an R5 continuous = R18.86 /// 16OC = 18.51
R15... grade 1 = 20.4 /// 16OC = 20
R13 1st line = 17.86 /// 16OC = 17.54
R13 grade 1 = 18.86 /// 16OC 18.51
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Last edited by SLSTech; 02-17-2014 at 08:25 PM.
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Old 02-17-2014, 09:36 PM   #7
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Re: R13 Or R15 ?


Air sealing is going to have a lot more to do with the overall performance than the advertised r-value.
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Old 02-17-2014, 09:50 PM   #8
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Re: R13 Or R15 ?


I've been told the reason they make R15 is for real 2x4 walls (old homes), and the R13 is for nominal 2x4.
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Old 02-17-2014, 10:09 PM   #9
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Re: R13 Or R15 ?


Totes - nah it was made because they could & they were trying to gain a leg up over other types of insulation.

EricB, well that definitely plays a part but as for a wall assembly rating...
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Old 02-17-2014, 11:08 PM   #10
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Re: R13 Or R15 ?


R15 is better. Simple answer. Being higher density, it tends to fill the void more completely as well.

They are requiring it in Tacoma, which I think is bs. The payback period is too long.

In my other locale, fairbanks, Alaska, r30 walls are code, and that is a good thing.

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