Bond Products’ motto is “Every hard floor needs a nice area rug.” We’ve talked about many different rug and carpeting options on this blog in the past few months, including shag rugs, gray carpeting, and sisal rugs. What do all of these kinds of rugs have in common? They make a room more attractive and more comfortable. The beauty aspect of carpets is easy to understand, but we all know that carpets also make a room instantly more cozy and warm. How do they do this? Here we will discuss how carpets help insulate their surroundings and keep heat (and cold) from escaping from a room.
Carpet as an Insulator
Carpet isn’t a heat source, of course, but it does affect how much heat the area retains. That’s because carpet is an excellent insulator. Materials like metal and marble are good conductors of heat – they allow heat to flow efficiently. Carpet does the opposite. Think about putting your bare feet down on a cold concrete floor. The cold concrete will conduct the heat in your body away. This makes you colder. You can imagine how cold your feet would be on that floor, can’t you? Carpet, as a poor conductor, allows the heat to remain in your body, so you feel warmer. In a sense, you’re putting a coat on the floor when you install carpet or put a rug down.
How Well Does Carpet Insulate?
Of course, not all carpet is the same, and some carpets insulate much better than others. Thicker carpets insulate better than thinner ones. Wall-to-wall carpeting holds more heat than rugs on hardwood. Carpet experts measure a material’s resistance to heat transfer (or thermal resistance) using what they call R-value. The higher the R-value, the better the material insulates. For example, the R-value of concrete 10 cm thick is .07. The R-value of 1-cm-thick fiberglass insulation is .22. In between, but much closer to insulation, is 1-cm-thick carpet with an R-value of .18.
Because carpet is such a good insulator, adding a rug to a room will lower the amount of energy it takes to keep a room cooled or heated and will save the homeowner money in the long run. When there is a difference in temperature between the indoor air and that under the floor, carpet can help reduce energy costs in heating and cooling. Uninsulated floors account for 10-20% of a home’s heat loss. If you are building a home or renovating an older home, it’s always wise to think about how the flooring you select will affect heating and cooling costs. If you’re living in a home or apartment that gets cold in the wintertime, adding an area rug is an easy way to solve that problem.
Carpets have many great qualities, including as art, but keeping things cozy and comfortable in the house is a big reason for their use throughout human history into today. Can you imagine life without rugs or carpets? Why would you want to?