Save on Heating and Cooling Costs: Because foam creates a complete air barrier, you can expect to start saving on your heating and cooling bills immediately. Spray foam expands over 100x its size and completely fills a cavity to eliminate air infiltration. By eliminating uncontrolled air movement between the interior and exterior, you can expect to start saving right away. Typical payback on a new construction house is oftentimes less than 4 years.
Reduce HVAC Sizing: Due to the tightness of a spray foamed house, it is important to adjust the size of the HVAC system in new construction homes accordingly. It is not uncommon to reduce the size of an HVAC system by more than 30% resulting in greater comfort, reduced initial expense, lower operating costs, longer equipment life, fewer callbacks and healthier indoor air quality. Over sizing equipment on the heating side leads to a loss in efficiency while over sizing on the cooling side can result in moisture problems. Air conditioners cool a house first, then dehumidify it. In an HVAC unit is too large, it will short cycle. It will turn on, cool the house down, and turn off again before removing much humidity from the air. One step in properly sizing the HVAC system is to use the industry standard, Manual J. Manual J calculates heat loss through walls, ceilings, leaky ductwork, and infiltration through windows, doors and other penetrations. Manual J also helps calculate heat gain into the house from sunlight, people, lights and appliances, doors, walls and windows. Consult with EcoLogic and your HVAC contractor for further assistance.
Eliminate Drafts: There are many reasons to choose spray foam insulation over conventional insulation. Perhaps its most impressive trait is that spray foam creates a true air barrier which prevents air-infiltration, controls moisture-migration, and eliminates drafts. Spray foam achieves this because it is sprayed on as a liquid and expands over 100x its size allowing it to fill every nook and cranny.
Blower door tests have shown that a typical home insulated with fiberglass will have anywhere between 0.5 – 0.6 air changes per hour (meaning 50-60% of all the air in the house is replaced every hour). A tight house insulated with spray foam will only have 0.1-0.15 air changes per hour. No matter how tight we make a house, doors and windows still leak air. Therefore a house built with spray foam still breathes, just at a more controlled and practical rate. This is important because the Department of Energy estimates that air-leakage accounts for up to 40% of energy costs.
Increases Comfort: In addition, spray foam acts as an excellent sound attenuator preventing outside noises from traffic, neighbors and airplanes from entering the home. Many people equate the ‘feeling’ of foam to the quiet and warmth of a snow-capped roof in the wintertime. This along with the air barrier will likely make your spray foam house the most comfortable and energy-efficient house you’ve ever lived in.
Longevity: Lastly, unlike fiberglass and cellulose, spray foam will never sag or settle overtime so you will never need to replace it. Foam is essentially a plastic and as long as it remains undisturbed in a framing cavity, the foam will never breakdown or dissipate. If the foam ever gets wet, it will dry out and retain its original shape and r-value. This will result in consistent energy savings throughout the life of the home. While spray foam may be initially more expensive than fiberglass, the 50-70% savings you will experience on your energy bills will result in a payback period of just a couple years!