Energy Star estimates around 20 to 30% of air is lost in the home due to leaks and holes. Going out the door with that air leak is all your hard-earned money. Air leaks drive up utility bills and make your home uncomfortable despite what the thermostat says.
So what's the secret to an energy efficient home? The answer is better insulation.
But with so many options available: fiberglass, cellulose, SIPs, etc., it's hard to know which is the best one.
Truthfully, it's none of these.
The best choice to seal in comfort and savings is spray foam insulation. Spray foam insulation acts as both insulant and air sealant. It will reduce your utility bill, lower your home repair costs, and minimize your medical expenses.
We're going to show you how.
Reduced Utility Bill
Heating and cooling account for roughly 48% of energy usage in an average American home. It's easily the largest expense you have. Wouldn't you be happier if you could cut that down a little?
That's where spray foam insulation comes in. Becuase it's made from expanding polyurethane, it fills in the cracks and crevices other insulators miss.
Remember that air leak statistic? Spray foam insulation brings that down to zero. You'll see a difference in the savings.
Most people that weatherize their home, which includes upgrading the insulation, report a 20% decrease in their monthly utility bills. If every single family home in America were to use it, they would save around $33 billion per year.
That's the dream anyway.
Some may stick with batts and blankets, loose cellulose, or polystyrene structural insulated panels. These options offer DIY installation and cheaper materials.
But in most cases, what you pay for is what you get. Batts and blankets can be itchy to install, and if not done properly can lose their effectiveness by as much as 50%. Furthermore, phenol formaldehyde binds most fiberglass batts. Though it is being phased out, this material is known to cause cancer if inhaled.
Furthermore, phenol formaldehyde binds most fiberglass batts. Though it is being phased out, this material is known to cause cancer if inhaled.
Loose cellulose fills nooks and crannies but loses effectiveness over time once it settles. It's also a passageway for the dust to get into your home, which can aggravate allergies.
Polystyrene SIPs often create gaps that have to be foam sealed, and insects bore through the material with ease.
Spray foam insulation also has a higher R-value than any of these alternatives, which means it has the highest insulation power available.
Decreased Home Repair Costs
You've heard the old saying "work smarter not harder." Most people live by it. Well, it applies to your home as well.
When air leaks out, your HVAC system has to work harder to maintain your home's temperature properly. All that extra work causes the parts to wear out quicker and break down.
Then you have to pay for repairs. Air conditioning fixes can cost as little as $49 to patch up a circuit breaker or as much as $1600 to fix an evaporator coil. It all depends on the extent of the damage. Furnaces run anywhere between $135 and $422, that's not including technician fees.
Then you have to get the repairman out to your house. We all know how much fun that can be. Often, you have an open window, usually between the hours of four in the afternoon and a Thursday three months from now. It's a hassle that's avoidable.
Spray foam insulation fills the gaps air escapes from and keeps your air conditioner running smoothly.
Consider it an investment in your home. The savings you receive are your returns that you can put your family's happiness.
Minimized Medical Bills
Studies estimate that Americans spend almost $2 billion on allergy treatment. They take roughly two days off work to deal with allergies and cost the economy $700 million annually in lost productivity.
What does that have to do with spray foam insulation? Well, leaks in the ventilation ducts or the roof provide an entryway for common household allergens. These allergens include mold, pollen, and insects.
Mold aggravates people living with asthma and causes sneezing, congestion, and coughing in those allergic to mold spores. While mold grows in dark places like basements and bathroom cabinets, a leaky roof creates the damp conditions mold loves.
Spray foam insulation seals in water as well as air. Using it in your roof can prevent toxic mold from growing and maintain the woodwork.
Pollen comes from blooming plants, often in the springtime. The fine particles drift on air currents and can attach themselves to clothing or pet fur. They can also meander into your home's vents if it's not insulated properly. Pollen allergies cause itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, and sore throats.
Outside it's inevitable, but inside it's stoppable. Spray foam insulation makes it harder for pollen to get in through the air ducts by sealing off leaks in the wall.
Insects are another problem for homes that aren't sealed correctly. They can get in through structural gaps and their saliva and waste trigger allergies. Cockroaches are the worst offender. They induce asthma, wheezing, and sinus infections, in addition to being unsightly. If you're not careful, you can also attract bigger pests such as mice or snakes looking for a nest.
Cockroaches are the worst offender. They induce asthma, wheezing, and sinus infections, in addition to being unsightly. If you're not careful, you can also attract bigger pests such as mice or snakes looking for a nest.
If you're not careful, you can also attract bigger pests such as mice or snakes looking for a nest.
Spray foam insulation seals off pest entry points and since it is a synthetic material it keeps them away from your house.
How to Install Spray Foam Insulation
A project like this one requires a professional. Spray foam insulation must be mixed and applied correctly. You have to have tools and safety gear that's unavailable at Home Depot. You also have to know what types of foam to use.
So where can you turn?
At Marvel, we have experts that can help. They may not be superheroes, but they can save your home from high energy bills and annoying allergens.
Contact us today with any questions you might have about spray foam insulation.
Got a success story you'd like to share? Know of other ways spray foam insulation can save money?
Let us know in the comments!