Spray foam insulation is a popular option for improving home energy efficiency. It’s claimed to save up to 50% on energy costs compared with fiberglass batts. Moreover, the upfront and labor costs associated with installing spray foam are usually reimbursed within three years.
However, not all spray foam insulations are created equal. Some contain dangerous chemicals that can lead to serious health problems and environmental damage. It’s therefore important to do your research before selecting a contractor for spray insulation installation.
There are two types of spray foam insulation: open and closed cell. Closed-cell polyurethane foam is more expensive than open-cell, but it’s a stronger insulator and creates an effective vapor barrier.
The air seal that spray foam creates stops drafts and air leaks around studs, joints, vents and other areas of the building envelope. This makes your furnace and air conditioner run less, lowering your monthly energy bills.
Spray foam can also be used to re-insulate existing attics and walls. If your home is already insulated, the crew will remove any old insulation before applying the new foam.
There are also spray foam options that use low GWP blowing agents to reduce environmental impact. Ask your spray foam insulation contractor about the type of blowing agent they use. Currently, most manufacturers are using HFO (hydrofluoroolefin) blowing agents which have a lower GWP than HFCs.