In a typical home, heating and cooling costs are a homeowner’s biggest energy expense by a wide margin.

In other words, heating and cooling costs alone are about as much as all other expenses combined, including energy costs for appliances, lighting, refrigeration, electronics, and water heating.

Expressed in dollars and cents, the average home spends $1,300 annually on heating and cooling costs alone, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Since studies show 40% of that energy is lost because of air leaks and heat loss, it makes good sense for homeowners to do what they can to make their homes more energy efficient. One of the best ways to do that is by installing closed-cell spray foam insulation.

Now there’s also another spray foam that’s quite popular. It’s called open-cell spray foam. While open-cell foam has its unique advantages, it offers homeowners fewer benefits and less energy savings compared to closed-cell foam.

Closed-cell spray foam insulation is a proven winner when it comes to keeping energy costs down. But in addition to greater energy savings, it also offers other significant benefits.

Let’s look at four reasons why it’s superior to other types of insulation.

Closed-cell Spray foam provides:

Greater energy savings

That’s because spray foam has a higher R-value per inch than other insulation on the market. It acts as a thermal break, and when it’s applied in its original state as a liquid – it helps fill every nook and cranny in the substrate, thus forming a rigid blanket as part of the building envelope.

Spray foam prevents heat via air infiltration on a micro-level that fiberglass batting and other insulating materials simply cannot match. And while these other materials might stand up in a lab test of theoretical R-value, once installed, they are significantly subpar to spray foam.

When the Oak Ridge National Laboratory conducted tests with commonly installed fiberglass batting, they found that the R-value was typically 28% less than what the manufacturer had claimed. These tests proved that the fiberglass lacked sufficient air barrier qualities when exposed to wind, moisture, and a cold climate. In fact, tests showed that the effective R-value of fiberglass diminished by more than 50% under these conditions.

Spray foam, on the other hand, flat out outperformed its R-value.

What this means for the homeowner is higher energy efficiency and lower energy costs.

Better indoor air quality

Closed-cell foam seals a building preventing water, air, dust, pollen and other pollutants from entering.

It also inhibits mold growth. Inhalation of toxic molds has long been a problem for homeowners. Spray foam, however, eliminates the breeding ground for mold because it eliminates the entry of mold spores and prevents moisture accumulation.

Fiberglass, cellulose, and other insulation materials, on the other hand, are not an air-tight barrier. Nor do they keep out moisture which can lead to mold outbreaks.

Noise reduction

Spray foam minimizes unwanted airborne sounds and structure-borne noise (footsteps, vibrations from appliances), also called impact noise.

Structural strength

Applying spray foam to your home actually strengthens its structure. As the foam expands when applied, it fills the gaps between each wall, floor or roof cavity. The studs, joists and sheeting are bonded together creating optimum structural strength.

After curing, spray foam is durable and will not shrink, settle or disintegrate over time as is the case with other types of insulation. Because it becomes part of the structure, spray foam never needs replacing. It lasts for the life of the home.

Consider the spray foam test conducted by Clemson University’s Civil Engineering Department in 1998. Test results showed that roofs with spray foam adhesive can withstand 2 to 3.5 times more uplift resistance than roofs held together with nails alone.

In one test sequence using 5/8 nailed OSB, the roof system had an uplift resistance of 87 pounds per square foot. Adding spray foam, however, increased the uplift resistance to 314 pounds per square foot.

A similar stability can be achieved by walls. A wall with spray foam insulation has higher racking strength, an ability to maintain its shape under duress, than a wall assembly without spray foam.

Need More Reasons?

The spray foam experts at Foam Kit Solutions can give you more reasons.

Give us a call today at 1-330-837-7700.

They can also explain your options for installing spray foam – either you do it yourself for a cost savings (free instructions included) . . . or you contract Foam Kit Solutions for a professional installation. The choice is yours.

Todd Hensel