Frigid temperatures are headed for The Dalles. Soon, we’ll be struggling to keep our homes comfortable and our energy bills affordable. Fortunately, there’s one thing that can help with both: carpet. Carpet flooring simultaneously warms any room and offers better insulation. We’ll briefly discuss how in this post.

The Importance of R-Value

Brown patterned carpet in a living room with a lit fireplace

A home’s r-value is a measure of its insulation. This determines how well it can maintain your desired temperature. The higher the r-value, the better insulated your home is. Naturally, a higher score means lower energy costs throughout the year. The house itself can have an overall r-value, and each room can also have its own separate score.

Naturally Warm

Classic tan carpet in a living room with a fireplace

Fabrics and woven fibers (like carpet) are naturally warmer than hard surfaces. This is why it’s much more comfortable to walk on carpet during those cold winter mornings than hardwood or (especially) tile. So, installing carpet instantly raises the r-value of any room. The more surfaces that are covered (such as staircases), the higher the r-value.

As we mentioned, carpet offers another benefit during cold weather. It naturally retains heat, so it’s more comfortable during colder nights, even if the indoor air is cool. Plus, carpet is just naturally softer than its hard surface counterparts.

Carpet Padding

Carpet padding

Carpet floors are installed over padding. This padding helps improve durability, comfort, and (of course) insulation. There are different types of padding, each with its own r-value score. Here’s a quick look at how some of the most common carpet pads measure up:

  • Urethane Padding: Urethane offers the highest r-value of any padding.
  • Memory foam: A little newer to the market, memory foam padding offers an r-value similar to urethane and is often regarded as the most comfortable to walk on.
  • Fiber: Padding composed of plant or hair fibers offer a nice middle ground between comfort, durability, and insulation. It doesn’t insulate as well as urethane, but it does last longer in busy areas.
  • Rubber: Rubber padding has the lowest r-value of any cushion. However, it also offers the most durability for high-traffic areas. And, of course, carpet with rubber cushion still has a higher r-value than hard surface floors.

Prefer Hard Surface? Consider Area Rugs

Pile of area rugs

We’ve mentioned how much warmer and more comfortable carpet is, but hard surface floors offer many benefits of their own. Besides, many people just prefer the style of hardwood and tile flooring.

Area rugs offer a great middle ground. They can be placed in common spots (such as seating or high-traffic areas) for more comfort and a slight increase in r-value. The right area rug can also compliment the style of your hard surface flooring. And yes, they also work well with carpet.

Learn More

There are many considerations when purchasing new floors. If you’re ready to make an informed choice, give the top flooring experts in The Dalles a call! We’ll provide honest, no-pressure advice to help you find the perfect flooring for your home.