Insulating walls, ceilings, and floors protects the shell of a home from a very cunning enemy: air leaks. Air leaks are cracks and gaps located throughout a home that allow air from outside to mix with air from inside. This leads to energy loss, less control over the temperature of the home, and more money spent on heating and cooling in an attempt to control the temperature. Having the right amount of insulation can make all the difference in how comfortable a home feels, and how much it costs to achieve comfort. Do it yourself spray foam insulation provides many benefits, including combatting air leaks, reducing energy consumption and emissions through heating and cooling, and saving money on energy costs.
Understanding Spray Foam
Spray foam is a tool that comes in two tanks, used for insulating rooms. It prevents cold air from entering during winter, and hot air from entering during summer. Measured in board feet (square feet), spray foam can cost as little as $45 dollars to cover 15 board feet of space. It is applied to walls, floors, and ceilings. The cells in the most effective spray foam insulation are closely packed together. This makes the foam strong, dense, and water resistant. By sealing the home in this way, it is essentially being protected from the infiltration of outside air, greatly reducing the impact air leaks have on the home.
Before spraying the foam onto a surface, the tanks need to be warmed up. They should be warmed in order to a core temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit to achieve an even stream when dispensing the foam. The “A” tank has a similar texture to that of milk, while the “B” tank has a texture comparable to molasses. Allowing the chemical in the “B” tank to warm up creates the milky texture, allowing for an even flow. Warming can be done by either using a tank warmer, or by placing the tanks in a warm room, and covering them with an electric blanket.
Reducing Energy Use and Emissions
Air leaks are tricky. Not only do they let air from outside in, but they cause air from inside to go out. This leads to a significant amount of energy loss and carbon emissions. When the air from outside is mixing with the air indoors, the heating or air conditioning unit has to work much harder to achieve the right temperature. Do it yourself spray foam insulation blocks air leaks from occurring at the areas where it is applied, saving energy and cutting emissions in the process.
The exact amount of energy and emissions reduced depends on factors such as climate and the amount of insulation already in place. Generally, proper use of foam insulation reduces energy consumption by as much as 10 percent and greenhouse gas emissions from 20 percent to 50 percent. This reduction is made possible by the limited amount of places where air will be leaking in and out of the home.
Saving Energy Means Saving Money
For most homeowners, heating and cooling is the largest utility expense, and the cost of heating and cooling only rises with air leaks. On average, air leaks are costing the average homeowner $680 dollars every year. This easily amounts to $3,400 dollars over a five year period. Surely, you can think of a few better uses for that money than wasted energy.
Sealing these problem areas with do it yourself spray foam insulation can reduce heating and cooling costs significantly. The exact amount of savings with do it yourself spray foam insulation depends on the same factors as energy and emission reduction. However, on average, the cost of heating and cooling the home can be reduced by as much as 20 percent. Further savings can be achieved with the newfound control over the thermostat. For example, 2 percent of heating costs can be reduced for every degree that the thermostat is lowered in winter.
Using do it yourself spray foam insulation to solve the problems brought on by air leaks provides many benefits to a homeowner. As you can see, the decreased energy usage and emissions acquired easily translates to a decrease in the amount of money spent on heating and cooling the home. With an insulated home you are able to save energy, cut emissions, and save money all at the same time.