Spray Foam Insulation: More Expensive but More Effective

wall-insulationProper insulation is essential in keeping your house toasty on cold winter nights and cool on warm summer days. Because of its versatility in providing comfort within the home, the average American can save around 20% in heating and cooling costs, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) guide to home insulation. The DOE also noted that good quality insulation could save you up to 10% of your home’s total energy costs.

The Federal Trade Commission suggests that one way you may determine which material is best for your home – whether you live in a warm area like Kansas or a cold one like Minnesota – is by looking for a high R-value. The R-value is a material’s ability to resist heat flow.

One of the insulation materials known for its high R-value is spray polyurethane foam (SPF) insulation. SPF, when used correctly, resists heat better than standard batt insulation. Here’s what you need to know about SPF insulation and its benefits to your home.

Open and Close

The American Chemistry Council describes SPF as a cellular plastic mixed with chemicals to create a foam. It insulates indoor air and protects against moisture. There are two types of spray polyurethane foam: closed-cell and open-cell. Closed-cell SPF is compact, while the open-cell SPF has cells that are not fully closed, making it less dense. In effect, closed-cell SPF insulation is more superior because it has better heat, air, and moisture resistance. It’s also better at sealing leaks than the open-cell counterpart. The only advantage of open-cell SPF insulation is sealing the hard-to-reach nooks and crannies, according to Family Handyman.

A Thermal Advantage

When it comes to thermal performance, the American Chemistry Council says SPF can offer up to 7.0 R-value per inch of thickness. As such, it provides energy savings for half the amount of space that traditional insulation offers. In its article, “The Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) Advantage: Understand Why SPF is an Excellent Insulation Choice for Your Home or Building,” the 113 million single-family homes in the United States could save around $33 billion annually if they all use SPF to insulate their homes. Apart from thermal performance advantages, the material can provide other benefits to your house as well.

Braving the Elements

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) classifies SPF as one of the flood damage-resistant materials you can use for your home. The agency, in their technical bulletin about flood damage-resistant material requirements, said that SPF could withstand repeated wetting and drying and it can be cleaned up easily.

An article about spray foam wall construction by the Building Science Corporation (BSC) also showed the material’s durability in extreme conditions. The authors said that SPF significantly minimizes air leakage, making it an effective air barrier that makes a standard wall system stronger. They also stated that the material is excellent at reducing wintertime and summertime vapor. The piece also gave SPF credit for its ease of use, making the construction of weather-resistant walls more straightforward.

The Cost of Good Insulation

Spray Polyurethane Foam insulation’s benefits, however, come at a higher price than other materials. At its lowest R-value of 22.4, cost guide portal Fixr says a person could pay up to $0.65 (3-inch thick) per square feet. Its highest heat rating of 76.8 (12-inch thick) can set you back about $1.20 per square feet. This is $0.6 more than 12-inch thick batts or rolls that have an R-value of 38. SPF, however, is cheaper than loose fill (R-42 12 inches, $1.45 per square feet) and structural insulated panels (R-48 12 inches, $6.87 per square feet).

Despite SPF’s higher cost per square feet, the material’s thermal resistance, durability, and versatility make the higher upfront costs worth it in the long run. With spray polyurethane foam insulating your home, you’ll save up on energy, heating and cooling, and repair costs because you don’t have to crank your HVAC system up to feel comfortable.

Get A+ Standard Insulation For Your Home

Now that you know that the benefits of SPF far outweigh its costs, it’s time to hire a trusted contractor to apply it to your home. Here at A+ Insulation, we put our customers’ needs first when it comes to installing insulation. We make sure that our customers are in the loop about every part of the process, from assessment to the final product. Our goal is to provide customer service as warm as the insulation we install.

Contact us now to give your home A+ standard insulation.