One of the Wisest Decisions You Can Make
Insulation is a key component of the systems working together to create a comfortable, energy-efficient home that is affordable to heat and cool. For optimal energy efficiency, your home should be properly insulated from the roof down to its foundation. It is more cost-effective to add insulation during construction than to retrofit it after the house is finished, but almost all homes can benefit from additional insulation.
Why we recommend spray foam insulation
There are many benefits to installing foam insulation. Some of them are: greater R-value, HVAC ducts can be located in conditioned space, house is sealed from air infiltration, reduces the size of the HVAC system needed and it has a longer lifespan than fiberglass insulation. Another benefit of installing spray foam insulation is the energy savings you will see.
A recent study of three homes in San Antonio, Texas was conducted to test the side-by-side performance of spray foam insulation in three identical homes. The only difference in the homes were the energy efficiency measures. The first home was constructed to meet existing building and energy codes using current practices for home insulation. The other two homes included spray foam insulation, energy efficient windows and doors, HVAC system, water heating, major appliances and lighting. While each home used the same caulking and sealing methods around doors, windows and framing connections, the type of insulation varied. In conclusion, this study showed a cost savings of 22 percent on heating and cooling costs compared to traditional fiberglass insulation.
West Florida Electric Cooperative Energy Service staff members have received positive feedback from members who have chosen to install spray foam insulation during the construction of their homes. These members have seen significant savings on heating and cooling costs compared to those who installed traditional fiberglass insulation during construction. The price to install spray foam insulation may be a greater investment in the beginning, but those savings will be realized (oftentimes on a monthly basis) over the lifetime of the home.
With high temperatures about 94 degrees this time of year and lows only at about 74, we know our cooling systems are working overtime. Installing spray foam insulation can help combat the higher bills usually seen by WFEC members this time of year due to cooling costs.
The bottom line? Foam insulation does cost about twice as much as fiberglass insulation to install, but the monthly energy savings of about 30 - 33 percent will help see payback in about seven years. To fully insulate a 1,600 square foot home, it would cost $1.787 to install fiberglass insulation while spray foam does come in at a steeper price of $3,380. However, the long-term savings more than make up for the initial price. The energy costs for the same 1,600 square foot home would be about $133 per month when insulated with fiberglass, while only $91 per month with spray foam. This works out to a $42 savings per month, with a lifetime savings of $15,120.
Spray foam will not only pay for itself over the course of seven years, but the value of the home will increase due to the fortification properties of spray foam. Homeowners can even see a decrease in insurance premiums in areas with high risks of wind or storm damage. In the comparison between these two insulations, spray foam has more benefits to your home and your wallet in the long run. While it might stretch your budget in the beginning, you will not only save more over time, you will enjoy a more comfortable home that is safer for your family.