Polyurethane foam insulation seals and insulates in one step. Spray foam insulation is professionally installed into wall cavities, attics or crawlspaces as a liquid that quickly expands to fill and seal cracks and gaps. That expansion helps create an insulated air
barrier, which stops air infiltration and gives you control over the air inside your home.
The benefits of spray foam insulation are simply understood with an everyday product like the ice chest. For example, drop a bag of ice into a foam ice chest on Friday. If the lid isn’t on tight, the ice won’t last through the weekend.
Like the ice chest example, unconditioned air leaking into your home and conditioned air leaking out of your home makes it hard to maintain a comfortable temperature and reduces your homes energy efficiency. A foam ice chest is only a ½ inch thick and exhibits a low R-value of 2. The polyurethane spray foam used to insulate and air seal your home offers a much higher R-value, or resistance to heat flow, and is much thicker than the foam used to insulate a foam ice chest.
Poorly insulated homes allow air to leak both in and out, meaning conditioned air escapes and unconditioned air and moisture enters the home. According to ENERGY STAR, air leakage accounts for 25 – 40% of the energy used for heating and cooling in a typical home. Surprisingly, this energy inefficiency is equivalent to leaving a window open in your house all year long.
The best thing you can do for your home is build it tight with polyurethane foam insulation and ventilate it right. Unfiltered air leaking into the home may cause moisture issues and can even harm those with allergies or asthma. Adding ventilation to your home’s heating and air unit will not only help maintain good indoor air quality but will also provide thermal comfort.
When compared to traditional insulation’s like fiberglass or cellulose, spray foam insulation does cost more upfront, but keep in mind:
- With spray foam you are getting an insulator and an air barrier in one product That difference will save you money each month by decreasing heating and cooling costs.
- Because the energy demand on your home is lower, a smaller, more economical heating and cooling system can usually be installed.
- Many times you can reduce or eliminate the use of other building materials when you use foam, such as soffit vents, ridge vents, attic ventilation fans, radiant barriers or vapor retarders.
- You can usually finance the cost difference as part of your mortgage, so the increase to your overall monthly mortgage payment will be relatively minimal.
- Many times the energy savings from spray foam can help you qualify for an Energy Efficient Mortgage which can save you money.
Spray polyurethane foam is used with other responsible building practices, you can save up to 50% on heating and cooling costs compared to traditionally insulated structures.
Yes, and that is a trend that is not likely to change According to the Appraisal Journal, every $1 decreased from a home’s utility bills, increases its market value by approximately $40.