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Benefits of Spray Foam Insulation in Connecticut For Homeowners

Benefits of Spray Foam Insulation in Connecticut For Homeowners

Spray Foam Insulation in Connecticut For Comfort and Efficiency

The purpose of insulation in a house is to provide comfort to its occupants by reducing heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer. In general, more is better. But the amount of insulation is only half the story. The type of insulation is equally important.

Closely related to heat gain and heat loss is the phenomenon known as infiltration. Infiltration occurs when outside air is forced into a house by wind, by pressure differentials between inside and outside, or by both, and, according to the DoE, accounts for about 40% of a home’s energy loss. This uncontrolled air enters through joints in the building envelope that are not fully sealed. Examples include joints in the plywood sheathing, through electrical outlets and switches, pipe and electrical conduit penetrations, between the siding and foundation walls, and any place different materials are joined. And because this air may be warm and moist or cold and dry – the Boston, MA, area has temperatures that range from -10ºF or lower in the winter to +90ºF or higher in the summer – it must be cooled and dehumidified in the summer and heated and humidified in the winter, both of which require significant energy and cost. So, controlling infiltration, a process known as air sealing, is important to the comfort of the homeowners and the home’s energy efficiency.

Selecting Insulation

Fibrous insulation such as fiberglass, cellulose, mineral wool, and cotton has an R-value of roughly 3.5 per 1″ thickness. While any of them can provide code-required levels of thermal insulation in sufficient thickness, they provide little protection against infiltration and must rely on a secondary barrier to prevent it.
Closed-cell spray polyurethane foam insulation, by contrast, which has an R-value of roughly 7 per 1″ thickness, is both an infiltration barrier (it expands to many times its original volume to fill and seal all the voids and joints in the wood framing) and a vapor barrier (it does not permit moisture to penetrate it). These twin characteristics make it an ideal air seal and its relatively high R-value makes it an ideal thermal barrier. As such, an SPFI-insulated 2″x4″ wood frame will outperform a fiberglass-insulated 2″x6″ wood frame wall even though they both have the same nominal R-value of between 19 and 21

Materials Cost: A Whole House Approach

In Connecticut, the installed materials cost of fibrous insulation is generally less than that for SPFI for the same R-value. But that’s not the whole story. Since SPFI can provide the
same R-value in a 2″x4″ wall that requires a 2″x6″ wall for fibrous insulation, the higher cost for SPFI can be offset by the roughly 33% savings in materials for the 2″x4″ wall. Also, since SPFI is an effective air seal, the size of the house’s heating and air conditioning systems may be reduced, allowing for additional cost savings.

Assistance with Your Connecicut Construction Project

The Beacon Projects Group can assist you with the selection of insulation best suited for your new or renovated home and assist you with your contractor to assure its proper installation.

Spray Foam Insulation in Connecticut

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