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Header hangers

Has anyone out there analyzed the thermal bridge created by header hangers? I just saw header hangers installed in a house for the first time in my 10 years on the job. My gut tells me that the heat flow through the metal is significant...perhaps not quite as much as the pair of studs it displaces, but perhaps enough that it's not really worth the extra hassle.


  • David ButlerDavid Butler Posts: 3,889
    A metal plate would have an R-value approaching 0, but it adds virtually nothing to heat transfer through the assembly since R-values through a given path are additive. (I qualified as 'virtually' because the hanger has high lateral heat transfer, but in the assembly shown, the 3-D impact is negligible.) So these plates actually improve assembly performance by eliminating jack studs!
  • Thanks, David. I was forgetting that the drywall and OSB would mitigate the effect of the steel. :)
  • David ButlerDavid Butler Posts: 3,889
    Actually, it has nothing to do with the drywall covering the plate. The parallel path through the stud is pretty much the same with or without the plate, regardless of it's position in the path. That said, if you had a metal plate on the surface, it could effect the mean radiant temperature (that's question for Robert Bean), but not the heat loss.