What Does a U-Value Mean?

U-ValueUnderstanding what a U-Value means can help not only in selecting the right building materials that offer optimal results in insulation, but also manufacturing and using products that meet building and construction standards. A U-value, also referred to as heat transfer coefficient, is a measure of how building materials are effective in preventing heat loss. In their bid to ensuring energy sustainability, building contractors, homeowners, building material manufacturers, and building regulatory bodies are so much concerned about the ability of materials to act as insulators.

How a U-Value is Achieved

A U-Value is the amount of energy in watts that is transmitted through every one square meter of a building material in every one degree of temperature variation between the inside and outside of a building. The U-Value of a material can apply to a combination of building elements, for instance, a brick wall combined with a layer of plaster. This value may also apply to single materials such a metal sheet.

How a U-Value Affects Energy Bills

Energy prices are on the increase, and it makes sense to want to know the performance of your building and materials. U-Values affect how heat is lost in buildings. A lower U-Value means that a building material offers better performance as an insulator. Buildings constructed using materials of lower U-Values can save more on energy bills, as less amount of heat is lost in a building, according to the Royal Institute of British Architects.

For example, to elaborate on what a U-Value means, an HVAC unit installed in a building constructed with materials of low U-Values can consume less amount of heat energy because, more heat is retained inside the rooms. Consequently, there is more energy saving and lower utility bills.

In a word, U-Values can help determine which building materials to choose. Knowing what a U-Value mean helps you be able to decide the makeup of design elements that can reduce the amount of heat loss in order to achieve greater energy saving.

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