Benefits of Spray Foam Insulation
The primary benefit of spray foam insulation is simply that it works. This may seem simple, almost a no-brainer, but when it comes to insulation, it is not a given. When insulation is installed in a home or a commercial building, the biggest factor that will affect how well it works is whether it is installed properly.
Proper installation means that the insulation is installed against an air barrier, so that it is “continuous and aligned” with that air barrier. In a typical attic in Phoenix, this means that there can be no gaps where the pink fiberglass or blown cellulose isn’t in contact with the ceiling drywall. I personally, have been in more than 500 attics in the Phoenix Metro Area and I have been in about 15 that were insulated properly. With spray foam insulation, we eliminate the possibility that the thermal barrier (the insulation) and the air barrier (commonly the ceiling) are not in alignment.
In a typical spray foam insulation application, the thermal and air barrier is taken to the under side of the roof deck. Not only does this mean that the thermal and air barrier are established, properly, at the same location, it also means that your air conditioner and the duct work is now in “conditioned space”. This can mean a huge difference in the amount of energy your home uses to stay comfortable. It also means that when you install spray foam insulation in this manner, you have effectively sealed all your duct work.
Spray foam insulation is more expensive than blown fiberglass, or cellulose or rolled batts. I won’t try to tell you it isn’t, but it is a much better product. It does three things at once. It insulates, creates an effective air barrier, and usually seals the duct system for your air conditioners.
It also isn’t affected by other contractors who might need to be up your attic to run cable, do electrical work or install new recessed lighting. With spray foam insulation, none of the effective insulation will be in the way, nor will it be disturbed by future work.
If you are like many people I know, you may decide to store things in your attic. If this is the case, spray foam insulation will decrease the temperatures in the attic by up to 60 degrees. Seriously, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. That means taking the attic from 140 degree Fahrenheit all the way down to 80 degrees. This means that when you store something in the attic and want to get it down in 5 or 10 years, it won’t be melted and useless.