Most of the energy costs spent to keep a East York home warm in the winter and cool in the summer end up leaving through the attic. In the summer, the sun’s heat pours in through the attic and in the winter, warm air rises past the ceiling and out of the home. Saving on energy costs starts in the attic, but how much insulation is enough?
Are You Trying To Find Basement Wall Insulation Contractors For Your East York House?
Although spray foam insulation as we know it today truly emerged in the 1980s around the East York area, spray foam actually has its roots several decades further in the past, beginning with the development of polyurethane foam in the 1940s by Otto Bayer. Otto Bayer, an industrial chemist, actually began working with polyurethane in Germany during the late 1930s. This technology was brought to the United States in the early 1940s by David Eynon, the president of Mobay, a war effort conglomerate created from the partnering of two chemical industry giants, Monsanto and the Bayer Corporation.
Questions to Ask When Selecting a Spray Foam Insulation Contractor
- With the cold season upon us, we thought it is important to write about insulation in the home. It's something that most people never give any thought to, but hidden in the walls of your home is an added layer of protection from the outdoor elements. One recent report by the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association stated that approximately 90 percent of all existing homes lack enough insulation. Jonathan Levy, a professor of Environmental Health at Boston University School of Public Health stated, "If all U.S. homes were fitted with insulation based on the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), residential electricity use nationwide would drop by about 5% and natural gas use by more than 10%."
Choosing the right type of insulation for your home will depend on your local climate, home design, how it is used and your budget. If you have an attic, crawlspace or basement, then adding additional insulation to the space can be a cost-effective way to save more on your energy bills.
Types of Insulation
While there are a variety of materials that insulation can be made from, it typically is available in four different types:
Foam-in-Place: Foam-in-place is an easy do-it-yourself project for homeowners that can be done with a small pressurized can. It is typically used to fill in small holes and cracks around door frames, windows, plumbing or electrical.
Loose-Fill: Loose-fill is primarily made up of rock wool, fiberglass or cellulose that are in the form of fiber pellets or loose fibers. Special pneumatic equipment is utilized to blow the loose-fill insulation into place.
Rigid Foam: Typically the most expensive of all insulation types, rigid foam can be an effective option and also provides greater insulation. This type of insulation is most commonly used for special applications as well as interior or exterior wall sheathing.
Rolls and Batts: Also known as blankets. This type of insulation is made from mineral fibers and is available in sizes that fit the standard spacing of wall studs, attic joists or floor joists.
What is the R-Value?
The R-value is a measurement to determine the insulation's resistance to heat flow. The recommended 'R-value' will vary from one home to the next as climates and heating/cooling systems differ. R-values range from zero to forty (sometimes even higher). The higher that the R-value is, the greater the insulating effectiveness it provides. The United States Department of Energy estimates that nearly half of a typical home's utility bills are spent on cooling and heating. Ensuring that air is not leaking into your home through windows, doors and other openings can significantly help cut costs on utilities. Additional benefits of a well-insulated home include better humidity control, less dust, pollen and insects as well as noise reduction. When all of the gaps, leaks and holes are added together in a typical home's envelope, it is the equivalent of having a window open each day of the year. If you are curious about how much insulation your home needs you can look it up on the U.S. Department of Energy Recommended Total R-Values for New Wood-Framed Houses here (http://www.energy.gov/energysaver/tips-insulation). Additionally, if you have an attic in your home, you may be able to save more money on energy bills. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that between 10 to 50 percent can be saved off of a heating bill just by having a properly insulated attic. It's worth having a professional insulation company come and look at your home to make sure that it does have the proper insulation needed. Energy auditors can also perform this task as well as provide you with other great tips to save energy. With the cold season rolling in take the time to make sure your home has the correct insulation.
The Advantages of Home Insulation
Movement of air in and out of a home can be a leading cause of escalated energy bills. Air can enter your house through holes, cracks and crevices. You can stop unconditioned air from entering your home and indoor conditioned air from escaping outside by adding an advanced insulation system to achieve optimal building performance.
Spray Foam Insulation is a two-component system typically consisting of petroleum oils, plastics, and resins. The polyurethane foam comes in two different forms, open cell and closed cell foam. The polyurethane spray foam is an extremely versatile material that is available in a variety of final physical properties and densities. Although the two types of foam are very similar in their chemical structures their characteristics and capabilities differ in many ways, which makes it necessary for the user to understand the differences of the two materials so he or she can determine which is the right foam for their particular application.
The open cell spray foam insulation contains a density of 0.5lb. per cubic foot. The greater the density of the foam the heavier, or stronger it will become. This particular type of polyurethane foam is referred to as "Open Cell" because of the nature of the chemical reaction during the installation process. When the polyurethane foam is being applied the tiny cells of the foam are broken causing air to fill the "open" space inside the material, resulting in a soft or spongy material. The open cell foam carries an R-Value of 5 to 5.5 per inch (R-Value is the measure of thermal resistance, which can be found by identifying the ratio of the temperature difference across an insulator and the heat flux). 0.5lb. foam products use significantly less material than 2lb. foam products do when completing the same sized job, making them attractive to an individual concerned with conserving the foam material. Due to the fact that open cell foam requires less material, the cost of the project is much cheaper than it would be if you were to apply closed cell foam. Although, Open cell foam is an efficient and economical product it contains some disadvantages in regards to closed cell foam. One of the open cells disadvantages is it has a lower R-Valuer per square inch than closed cell foam does and open cell foam is vapor permeable requiring it to be covered with a vapor retardant material. Although, open cell foam has some advantages and disadvantages it has been recognized as an excellent insulator, air sealant and sound barrier.
There are many things a home or building owner should take into consideration when considering the type of foam that should be used for their particular application. Although both types of foam are by far the best insulators on the market, each type of polyurethane foam possess its own characteristics and capabilities. It is imperative for the user to identify which foam is right for them before applying the product.