The Benefits of Spray Foam Insulation for Homeowners

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, up to 40% of the energy lost by a home happens through uncontrolled air leakage. When air leaks into or out of a home, the furnace or air conditioner must work harder to maintain the desired indoor temperature, wasting energy and money.

Spray foam can deliver a continuous air barrier to seal against energy-robbing air leakage. Spray foam insulation does not sag or settle. In addition to the immediate monthly energy savings of up to 50% that can be generated by a tighter building envelope, smaller (less expensive) heating and cooling equipment can be installed to save more energy and money.

IMPROVED INDOOR AIR QUALITY

Indoor Air Quality affects everyone. Airborne pollutants can penetrate your home and lead to respiratory issues like asthma and even lead to mould. Mould and moisture control is critical for a healthy home.

A comprehensive insulation and air barrier can help address indoor air quality and what you breathe in your home. A material like spray foam can help keep pollutants like dust, carbon monoxide, radon, mould and pollen out of your home. Sealing living spaces from garages and spaces with furnaces can also help you breathe easy.

Air sealing and eliminating air leakage can help prevent outdoor pollutants affecting your home’s indoor air quality.

People with allergies, asthma and certain chemical sensitivities have often found that, in buildings with spray foam, irritants caused by natural airborne irritants are reduced.

Pollutants and airborne allergens can penetrate even the smallest gaps in other forms of insulation. Airborne moisture can also infiltrate traditional insulation, sometimes leading to mold, which releases spores and potentially toxic substances called mycotoxins. Thanks to the superior air seal created by Icynene spray foam, dangers of inhaling these toxins and irritants are greatly reduced.

For all these reasons, spray foam is highly recommended for spaces occupied by people with allergies, asthma and other particular respiratory issues. In fact, Icynene spray foam was used to improve indoor air quality as part of the American Lung Association’s “Health House” program.

Air Quality Facts:

  • We spend 90% of our time indoors.
  • 15% of homeowners are allergic to their homes.
  • 40% of kids will develop respiratory illness.
  • More than 20 million people in the U.S. suffer from asthma.
  • Medical costs for serious illnesses caused by poor indoor air quality total more than $1 billion per year.
  • Lost productivity from those illnesses costs between $4.7 billion and $5.4 billion.

Indoor air quality (IAQ) affects every one of us, especially those with respiratory health issues like asthma and allergies. Protect your well-being by improving your indoor air quality with Icynene spray foam insulation.

Spray foam insulation and air barrier creates a thoroughly sealed environment. By eliminating air leakage, spray foam insulation automatically helps prevent the infiltration of the pollutants, outdoor allergens and moisture carried in the air. Plus, unlike some other insulation types, Icynene spray foam insulation is not a food source for mold or insects, which are common causes of respiratory irritation.

For healthier air in your home, keep out pollutants – these can include:

  • Dust and dirt
  • Mold and moisture
  • Radon
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Pollen and other allergens

You can separate breathing air from pollutants you can’t eliminate by air-sealing walls and ceilings between living spaces and:

  • Garages
  • Combustion furnaces and water heaters
  • Combustion closets
  • Chemical storage areas
  • Outdoor pollen and other allergens

Remember to use spray foam insulation not only on the exterior walls of a home, but also on interior walls, especially the types of places mentioned above. By using spray foam insulation as garage insulation, for example, you can help protect your family from harmful outdoor pollutants (e.g. exhaust) that might otherwise creep into your home unnoticed.

Spray foam will create an air barrier to reduce outdoor pollutants and allergens from getting inside. Used in conjunction with mechanical ventilation Icynene spray foam can make indoor air healthier than what you breathe outside.

Most of the moisture that gets into a home is actually carried in the air. Airborne moisture can condense on surfaces within the home and contribute to mold growth. Mold has been known to aggravate asthma or allergies, and cause symptoms such as itchy eyes, sneezing, and coughing. Spray foam can help minimize the flow of random airborne moisture entering your home, to protect against mold growth that may lead to these conditions.

Common insulation types such as fiberglass and cellulose absorb or retain water and provide a food source for mold – this can lead to mold growth, which can trigger allergies in the home. Use building materials that contribute to moisture management (like Icynene spray foam insulation) to prevent the growth of mold, which releases spores and mycotoxins into the air.

Those concerned about healthy air can breathe a little easier in buildings insulated with the water-blown products offered by Icynene. Dangers associated with certain forms of insulation, such as long-term VOC emissions, were not observed in Icynene, according to extensive testing.

Icynene LD-C-50 features 100% water-blown technology. This technology utilizes a blowing agent that has the lowest Global Warming Potential (GWP) value of 1. Icynene products are classified as Low-Emitting Materials that contribute to a better indoor environment.

NOISE REDUCTION

Whether you just want a little peace and quiet or total soundproofing, insulation needs to address two main kinds of noise–airborne noise and flanking noise. Spray foam insulation reduces the transmission of both by sealing gaps and holes through which airborne sound moves within a home. This is especially true of light density, open-cell spray foam insulation, due to its natural sound-absorbing properties.

Airborne noise includes things like talking, stereos and televisions. Spray foam insulation dramatically reduces the transmission of airborne noise by sealing the cracks and crevices air would otherwise pass through.

Indoor noise:

  • Home theaters
  • Playrooms
  • Workshops
  • Laundry rooms
  • Wood and tile floors
  • Plumbing runs – showers, toilets, kitchens

Outdoor noise:

  • Traffic and street sounds
  • Playgrounds
  • Airplanes

When considered for structural soundproofing, insulation should be able to address two main noise types:

  • airborne
  • flanking noise.

Icynene spray foam insulation can reduce both. Icynene’s open-cell, light-density spray foam insulation has natural sound-absorbing properties which helps soundproof.

What is Airborne Noise?

Talking, stereos, gaming systems and televisions all contribute to airborne noise. By filling and sealing every crack and crevice that these sounds can travel through, Icynene spray foam insulation can reduce the transmission of airborne noise such as these.

What is Flanking Noise?

The sounds originating from within the walls, such as plumbing runs, are considered to be flanking noise. Icynene’s open-cell, light-density spray foam insulation can muffle these sounds by sealing the whole way around the source. By sealing any air gaps, airborne transmission of flanking sounds are diminished, creating quieter spaces uninterrupted by noises like flushing toilets or running showers.

SAVE MONEY & INCREASE RESALE VALUE

Did you know that inefficient home insulation can play a significant role in the air leakage taking place in your home? Air leakage via the floors, walls and roof of your home can ac-count for up to 40% of overall energy loss. It can also contribute to your home’s increased heating and cooling costs.

Every home is uniquely built and requires a solution incorporating both insulation and air barrier that will help reduce air leakage and, in turn energy loss.

Consider replacing your inefficient home insulation with Icynene spray foam insulation and air barrier to help curb air leakage.

Long-term energy savings and recouping insulation costs

Saving energy is a top priority for homeowners looking for insulation. Icynene spray foam insulation helps you get exactly what you want. In fact, your monthly savings on energy bills can quickly add up to more than the initial insulation costs, and then continue to add up indefinitely. Spray foam can help you save on heating and cooling costs by up to 50%.

 

How it works: Insulation R value + air seal

When measuring the effectiveness of insulation, R-value measures the insulation’s ability to limit conductive heat flow (heat that is transferred through it). This is all the makers of most insulation types want you to think about because it’s all they offer. Yet the primary method of heat transfer is not conductive heat flow, but rather air leakage (convection). Air leakage can account for up to 40% of a building’s energy loss, and it cannot be stopped with traditional insulation. R value can only stop so much energy loss without an air barrier.

Icynene spray foam insulation provides insulation R value and air-sealing in a single step. This is the only way to truly obtain the most value from your insulation costs.

Reduce the cost of installing or replacing your furnace or air conditioning

When your home isn’t leaking energy, it takes less effort to heat and cool. That means you could reduce the size and cost of your heating and cooling equipment, saving installation or replacements costs.

Why ‘rightsize’ heating and cooling equipment?

Properly matching or “rightsizing” the size of heating and cooling equipment to a more energy efficient home can save money, but it’s also important for your home’s health. If an air conditioning system is too large for your home it might not run efficiently or properly remove excess humidity. That can lead to possible moisture problems.

Fast payback of insulation cost

Investing in insulation that can create an air barrier and minimize random air leaks can deliver almost immediate payback when monthly savings are greater than the cost of financing the insulation purchase. Icynene spray foam insulation can help you save on heating and cooling costs by up to 50%.

On the other hand, it could take a long time to make back your money by adding insulation just to increase R-value.

Air-sealing insulation could add re-sale value to your home.

By minimizing random air leakage you can save on heating and cooling costs by up to 50%. Prospective buyers can feel and hear the difference of a home that’s healthier, quieter, and more energy efficient.

Whether insulating an attic or sealing an entire house, Icynene spray foam insulation can deliver substantial tax incentives for homeowners.

For more information on tax credits related to spray foam insulation, visit www.energystar.gov to check for current tax incentives on open-cell and closed-cell spray foam insulation.

REDUCE DRAFTS & COLD SPOTS

Icynene fills gaps and cracks and helps reduce air loss, lowering the chance of drafts or cold spots throughout your home. In addition, your furnace or air conditioner can function more efficiently, contributing to a more comfortable home.

Up to 40% of your home’s total energy loss may be due to air loss via the floors, walls and roof. This can be due, in part, to inefficient insulation, something which can also play a role in higher monthly heating and cooling bills by making your HVAC system work harder.  To help minimize the risk of air loss and reduce high heating or cooling bills, your home needs an insulation and air barrier that can easily adapt to any design or feature and maintain its integrity over the long term. Icynene spray foam insulation is ideal to help minimize air loss, as well as the higher heating and cooling bills that can go along with air leaks.

A home without spray foam insulation loses enough air each day to fill two blimps

Most homes have a lot of air leakage through insulation.  The cracks and other points where air can move through the home can add up to a hole about the size of a basketball. You might feel these drafts, notice that certain areas don’t stay as warm or cool as others because of air loss, or see cobwebs (spiders build webs in these areas). Using spray foam insulation plugs up holes to reduce drafts and make your home more comfortable.

Do your feet get cold in the winter on your bonus room floor? Does your A/C need to work extra hard in the summer because it’s exposed to outdoor heat?

Spray foam insulation expands when applied to fill gaps and stick to surrounding materials. It won’t shrink, settle or sag over time, so it’s perfect for insulating problem areas like:

  • Rooms over garages
  • Between a crawlspace and first floor
  • Where floor joists meet the foundation
  • In vaulted or dome-shaped ceilings

PROTECT YOUR HOME

Making your house feel like a home involves choosing the best of everything, from the furniture to the fixtures, and even the colors with which you decorate. It only makes sense, then, to choose an insulation that can add to you and your family’s home comfort, all while protecting your home.

Most people know that mold occurs because of moisture. But you may not know that 99% of the moisture that enters the walls of your home is carried in the air through a process building scientists refer to as “convection.”

This airborne moisture enters the walls discreetly through cracks and crevices, spaces that exist because spray foam insulation is not present. When the moisture in the air comes in contact with the cooler side of the wall, it condenses and remains there, leading to mold over time. This can cause health problems for you and a shorter life for your home.

Spray foam insulation can help you solve this common problem or prevent it altogether. The one-time spray foam insulation cost is far less than the cost of correcting severe moisture damage down the road.

Your home may provide a perfect home for pests such as mice, rats, snakes and more if you use old-fashioned insulation such as fiberglass or cellulose. It’s easy for many pests to pass through these insulation types to get into your home. Fiberglass and cellulose can easily be torn apart by pests, and some even use them for nesting, encouraging them to live and breed in your home.

Spray foam insulation does not provide a source of food for rodents, termites, or other pests. It also doesn’t make for good nests, and as a solid material it’s difficult to pass through, helping protect your home from critters.

By protecting against moisture and mold damage, using spray foam insulation can protect against rotten wood, collapsing drywall or particle board, and other building damage – not to mention mold-damaged furniture and personal belongings.

Although it isn’t designed to be part of a building’s structure, Icynene spray foam, especially closed-cell, is a firm material that also can help the structural integrity of a building.