This happens so often. Your thermostat is set on a temperature you believe will make your home feel comfortable . . . until you go downstairs or walk into another room.

You either feel a wall of cold or a blanket of hot air – depending on whether it’s winter or summer.

Many times, it’s not your furnace or air conditioner failing you. Rather, it’s inadequate insulation.

According to the Department of Energy research, most homes lack sufficient insulation. They also have too many air leaks that allow heated or cooled air to escape.

Many older homes, in fact, have no insulation at all in key wall and ceiling areas. It’s not much better in new homes. They often contain only the minimum insulation levels required by building codes – levels that fall short of making a living area truly comfortable.

Another problem causing temperature extremes in homes is air leaks. These leaks – common in most homes – allow heated or cooled air to escape. They give rise to cold, drafty rooms in winter and “hot spots” during the summer.

What’s more, air leaks hit you in the pocket book. With too much heated or cooled air inside leaking out of the house and too much outside air coming in, your HVAC system (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) has to work harder and longer to keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Spray Foam Is the Way to Go

Homeowners have a variety of choices when it comes to insulation, but only one type stands out above all the others for energy efficiency and effectiveness.
Among the different types of insulation are fiberglass batts and blankets, rock wool batts and blankets, cotton batts, loose-fill fiberglass, loose-fill cellulose, and spray foam.

Spray foam is the best. Sprayed on as a liquid, it quickly expands, blocking 100% of all air leaks. During this process it finds and fills every gap, nook and cranny in an attic or wall before hardening into a solid.

After hardening, it gives you a complete air seal – unlike other types of insulation. It also provides a higher R-value (resistance to heat flow) and greater energy efficiency.

In addition, the closed-cell insulation is excellent for keeping moisture or water vapor from penetrating your walls, attic, or crawl space. Traditional insulations absorb and retain water, encouraging mold growth and leading to possible allergic reactions.

For these reasons, spray foam is the most effective insulation available today. It is also available to purchase in DIY spray foam insulation kits.

Two Types of Spray Foam

There are two types of spray foam: open-cell polyurethane spray foam and closed-cell polyurethane spray foam. Of these two, closed-cell offers more advantages.

Let’s compare the two.

Open-cell spray foam, with an R-value of 3.5 to 3.6 per inch, stops the movement of air and provides sound dampening. Although less costly than close-cell insulation, it acts like a sponge and absorbs moisture, therefore allowing water vapor to pass through. So in some cases, a moisture barrier may be needed. It’s best used in walls, floors, and ceilings.

Closed-cell spray foam, with an R-value of 6.5 to 7.0 per inch, stops the movement of air and moisture. Its high R-value minimizes hot and cold spots in a home, improving efficiency and comfort. Because of its rigidity when dried, it “glues” the structure together, adding structural reinforcement and strength. In fact, testing by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Research Center shows spray-applied closed-cell polyurethane foam between wood and steel-stud walls panels increased rack and shear strength two to three times compared with standard stick-built components with glass fiber insulation. While it costs more than the open-cell insulation, it offers more long-term benefits and better overall insulation. It’s best used in walls, floors, and ceilings.

How to Improve Your Home’s Comfort

Putting an end to air leaks and uncomfortable temperature swings in your home is easy.

Just let the spray foam experts at Foam Kit Solutions show you how it’s done. They’ll be happy to go over all the advantages of spray foam insulation and show you how to save money installing it.

To learn more, call Foam Kit Solutions – the spray foam experts – at 1-330-837-7700.

Todd Hensel