Everyone knows that spray foam insulation can save you 50% or more on heating and cooling costs, but did you know that it isn’t the single biggest advantage to choosing SPF insulation.
The description “closed-cell” comes from the cell structure of the finished insulation material. One cubic inch of polyurethane foam insulation contains millions of tiny plastic closed cells filled with Honeywell Solstice LBA, a non-ozone depleting blowing agent. The blowing agent is captured within the cells which contributes to highly efficient insulating properties. In addition, closed-cell foam provides an inherent air barrier with low moisture vapor permeability, and excellent resistance to water. The density for closed-cell spray foam is approximately two pounds per cubic foot. The medium density foam provides sheer and racking strength to wall assemblies in building applications.
Highest Comfort Rating:
When building a new home, many times comfort is the most over looked aspect of the structure. But it is the most crucial to a lifetime of health and happiness with the build. When Old Man Winter strikes and it’s -20F and its gusting up to 50 MPH out of the north it gets cold, drafty and uncomfortable in your home, unless of coarse your home was properly insulated with spray foam insulation. In fact, you may not even realize the wind is whipping around so hard until you look out the window at all the blowing snow and bent over trees.
Reduced Allergens, Dust and Bugs:
Because SPF is ridged and fills every void, it stops allergens, dust and bugs right in their tracks. Stopping them before they ever come into your home.
The seamless, airtight, moisture impervious structure of closed cell spray foam insulation makes it possible to have a structure that is over 50% more efficient than if it was insulated with traditional insulations. People with spray foam insulated homes experience heating bills that are normally well under $100 per month in the coldest parts of the winter. Keep the heat you bought, after all it’s yours anyways. In most cases spray foam insulation pays for itself in 3 to 5 years in energy savings. Average energy savings on a structure insulated with spray foam instead of fiberglass; when done 3 inches (R-21) on the walls and 4 inches (R-28) on the underside of the roof deck the average savings can exceed 75% savings.
Fills All Voids:
Spray foam fills every crack and seals all the hard to reach places that would normally be left uninsulated like behind outlet boxes, electrical wires, plumbing, small gaps in wall joists, and dreaded corners.
Spray foam forms an air tight building envelope which stops all air infiltration that would normally bring dust and pollen into your home and carry your conditioned air right out with it. Stopping all your air infiltration can save you 40% right off the bat. Then the extreme performance of spray foams insulating properties can save you an additional 25% to 50% over the use of fiberglass.
Highest Insulating Properties:
3 inches of closed cell is 95% efficient, with a rating of R-21. No other insulation can even come close to that no matter what the R-Value is rated. Because spray foam is so highly efficient at minimal thicknesses, you see very little gain in efficiency to cost when applying over 3 inches.
Strengthens Structural Integrity:
Spray foam insulation will never sag, shrink or settle in a wall or attic/ceiling. It adheres permanently to the structure and greatly increases structural strength. Spray foam is lightweight at less than 1/2lb per square foot, it adds little weight to a structure while greatly increasing its strength. In fact, racking strength of a wall is increased up to 200% more than sheeting alone when using closed cell spray foam.
Spray Foam Insulation is the only insulation that prevents condensation from forming in wall cavities and on roof decks. Condensation supports favorable conditions to form mold growth and rot, leading to serious health issues and premature structure failure. Spray Foam even solves the cold floor problem that comes with every room above a crawl space
Reduced Size of Heating and Cooling Units:
Homes and buildings, because of the extreme efficiency of the insulation, require heating and cooling units that are normally 30 to 50% smaller than what would normally be required to keep it a comfortable climate. When spraying the complete envelope of a home a Heat Recovery Ventilator is required to be installed to bring fresh air into the home, but the savings from the reduced size of the heating and cooling systems more than make up for the investment of the HRV. HRV’s allow you to control the air exchange of a structure with filtered air, instead of relying on the wind to blow through the walls bringing all the dust and pollen with it.
R-Value is a well-publicized “status” to reflect insulation value to consumers. R-Value only measures conduction or the material’s ability to resist heat loss or gain. It is derived by taking the “k” value, determined by using an ASTM test method, and dividing it into the number one. The “k” value test is the actual measurement of heat transferred through a specific material. The test favors fiber insulation materials-fiberglass, rock wool, and cellulose fiber as the test does not account for air movement (wind), or moisture (water vapor). Zero wind and zero moisture are not real-world conditions.
Source of the following: Wikipedia.org
Spray foam insulation, like other insulation, saves on energy costs and lowers utility bills. Studies by the US Department of Energy show that 40% of a home's energy is lost as the result of air infiltration through walls, windows and doorways. Buildings treated with spray foam insulation insulate as much as 50% better than traditional insulation products.
Insulation properly deployed can be part of a system design to protect against protects against moisture, which provides the benefit of reducing the chance of harmful mold, mildew and rotting of wood.
In addition to building temperature and moisture control, spray foam insulation is often used to reduce noise. Foam insulation serves as a barrier to airborne sounds, and reduces airborne sound transfer through a building's roof, floor and walls compared an uninsulated structure.
In the United States, homes treated with spray foam insulation often qualify for state and federal tax deductions.
Insulation of all types stops a good deal of energy loss. Some types including spray foams also seal air leaks. Insulation can also save energy in hot climates by reducing air conditioning use.
Types of Heat Transfer Explained
R-Value is the term given to thermal resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-value of the insulation product, the more effective the insulation properties. 2lbs polyurethane foam has the highest R-value of readily available insulation used in homes and buildings
Polyurethane is a closed-cell foam insulation material that contains a low-conductivity gas in it’s cells. As a result of the high thermal resistance of the gas, spray polyurethane insulation typically has an R-value of R-6 to R-7 per inch. In comparison, blown fiberglass typically has an R-value of only R-2 to R-4 per inch
Foam insulation blocks all three forms of heat transfer:
Conductive heat transfer
The flow of thermal energy through a substance from a higher to lower temperature region. Foam thermoset plastics block conductive heat transfer due in part to having very loose molecular bonds; In addition the cells of the installed spray foam are filled with 245fa in closed cell foam.
Radiant heat transfer
The process by which heat energy in the form of light (usually IR unless the substrate is hot enough to glow in the visible range) is emitted more strongly by warm surfaces and absorbed by other materials especially those of low IR reflectivity (think matte black finish). Radiant heat transfer does not require a medium. Thermoset foams, such as spray foam insulation, have the ability to reflect radiant heat. This is due to the reflective (shiny, in terms of IR) surfaces within the cell structure of the foam.
Convective heat transfer
Heat which is created elsewhere that is transported by means of a fluid, such as water or in our case air. Spray foam insulation's most important attribute is the ability to air seal creating a custom airtight envelope within the building structure. The added benefit to air sealing is the ability to block convective heat transfer from interior to exterior during heating months and vice versa during cooling months, as the heat cannot escape through gaps in the buildings envelope without the aid of air movement from infiltration as a means of transport.