Over the past few years there has been a clear trend in the world of insulation, that being the growing popularity of spray foam insulation. Many new homes have moved to spray foam insulation while remodels and retrofits are also largely moving more and more towards spray foam insulation to fix problem areas in older homes. While many new home builders were making the switch years ago, the trend has also moved to homeowners who have learned more about spray foam insulation and its benefits. If you’re not that knowledgeable about spray foam, we’ll give you the back story.
What is spray foam insulation?
Unlike traditional batt and blanket insulation (those big, pink or gray insulation rolls) and loose-fill (insulation popcorn), spray foam never loses its shape and expands to fill gaps. Spray foam is unique in that it creates an air seal and can fill cracks, gaps, and crevices that other types of insulation may struggle with. Spray foam comes in two varieties, open cell and closed cell.
Open cell foam is softer because the cells in the foam aren’t completely left open, making the finished material more flexible.Closed cell foam has cells that are completely closed, which means no air or moisture can get inside, making a much more rigid, stable finished material, though it is less flexible. Closed cell foam is more resistant to weather and extreme temperature changes.
GreenFIT installs spray foam in floors, attics and ceiling cavities to prevent air movement. This makes spray foam the perfect way to prevent homes from suffering drafts. Spray foam can do wonders for houses that are losing heat through their attic, ducts, ceiling walls, or basement. The addition of spray foam insulation in these areas can greatly increase the energy efficiency in a home, keeping it cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter and greatly reducing your heating and cooling costs.
What are the cost savings from using spray foam insulation?
The Department of Energy stated that inadequate insulation and air leakage are the leading cost of energy waste in homes. The most recent estimates claim that the average home spends $142 per month on heating costs in the winter. Air leaks can waste up to 20-50% of a home’s heating budget each winter, which means the average home is spending an extra $28 to $71 per month in the winter months alone.
Of course, if you’re leaking warm air in the winter that also means your cooling costs are unnecessarily high in the summer. Using spray foam insulation to eliminate air leakage leads to year-round savings for older homes and new construction.
How is spray foam installed?
The process of installing spray foam insulation is straightforward in new construction. Before the walls are finished, the installer will spray your chosen type of foam into the walls between the studs, then the mixture rapidly expands and hardens into a solid foam that fills the cavity. Beyond the walls, it can be applied as necessary to other areas of the home such as the attic, crawl space, and rim joist. For these applications, it doesn’t matter if the spray foam is being applied to new construction or an existing home.
Just how popular is spray foam insulation?
We know firsthand from the phone calls that come into GreenFIT that more and more people are requesting spray foam insulation for new construction as well as remodeling projects. Looking at some data backs up what we’ve been hearing.
Over the past twelve months, data provided by Netvantage, a firm providing SEO for contractors, shows that in October and November searches for “spray foam insulation” on Google reached a high of 74,000 searches per month. Even on its worst month in the past year, April, the phrase was still searched over 40,000 times.
If you’re a new home builder or a homeowner in West Michigan and would like to speak with an experienced insulation contracting professional, contact GreenFIT Homes today.