Dec 13, 2010

You want to stay warm and save money this winter. We've seen how efficient windows and entry doors are important in achieving this goal (you can check out our blog post on how impressive the savings can be). Another key factor – one almost all homeowners pay attention to – is INSULATION. Insulation is meant to be more than a wrapper. If that were its only purpose, we'd still be fine with paper or sawdust. As materials improved, we've come to expect that insulation will keep the cold outside in winter and the heat outside in summer. It's an "energy hoarding" construction material that improves the home's energy efficiency by helping to prevent heat exchange between the structure's interior and exterior.

For years, the default material for new walls and ceilings has been fiberglass or cotton batting insulation. Spray foam, although in use since the 1960s, has been generally thought of for existing walls or finished drywall ceilings. But big innovations in spray foam insulation have made for an increasingly improved product, so the builder who doesn't keep up doesn't give you the options. That kind of "old school" thinking can cost you in energy loss over the years.

When comparing these different types of insulation, R-value (a measure of thermal resistance) is a vital detail. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, traditional fiberglass has an R-value between 2 and 3 per inch of thickness, while sprayed foam insulation has an R-value between 4 and 8. Since products with higher R-values provide higher levels of thermal resistance – that is, they're best at keeping the cold outside where it belongs – spray foam is a smart choice for energy savings.

The "next generation" of foam insulation is a polyurethane spray foam recently launched by Demilec (USA): HEATLOK SOY, a highly energy-efficient product that uses recycled rigid plastic waste and soy. It's an environmentally friendly process that helps conserve non-renewable resources while providing a technologically advanced and efficient insulation that gives, in a single application, an engineered building envelope with a high long-term thermal resistance, an excellent air barrier, and a recognized vapor retarder.

This advanced insulation product is now offered through Innovation Construction Company, a trusted local BBB A+-rated builder with certification as an expert in Designing with Spray Foam Insulation – a designation of expertise with this process and in specific with Demilec's  HEATLOK SOY.

This is a product that is definitely worth checking out. It's a win-win for you and the environment, and a smart investment in your home.


Chuckle of the Week

Q: Why did the afternoon garden party make the architect think that his golf
game would improve?

A: Because he believed that form followed function.