Focusing on R-values versus Air Barriers
You see this everywhere you look. Everyone talks about R-value as the only measuring stick for comparing different insulation. That’s fine and dandy, except The US Department of Energy states that sealing a home can save you up to 40% on your heating and cooling bills. Unfortunately, the very common forms of insulation like fiberglass and cellulose just can’t seal out the air costing you thousands of dollars.
What’s worse is that air leaks dramatically reduce the effectiveness of most insulation’s r-value. Air leaks often bring moisture in to the cheaper insulation, further reducing its capacity to insulate.
That’s why we think this is public enemy #1. This misinformation is fed to consumers day in and day out. Yes, R-values are helpful in comparing insulation. However, an R-30 fiberglass batt is not necessarily in itself better than an alternate form of insulation that’s R-24 or R-16 if there’s an air barrier involved.
Bait and Switch
This is far more common than any of us would like to think in this day and age. For instance, there are a tremendous number of contractors installing non-fire-retardant spray foams into homes and commercial buildings. This happens throughout the country – literally from sea to shining sea.
We’re sure the quote says fire retardant formula for the unsuspecting customers, but we know they then use the non-fire retardant foams. Total savings per board foot: $.05. Yes, $30 for 600 board feet. Now that is illegal, and it’s absolutely crazy! And the local inspector may have a difficult time figuring out if what they used is a fire-retardant foam that’s approved for use in buildings.
At the end of the day, it’s not just about choosing the right product, it’s about installing it properly. Many people are afraid to choose the wrong product, but if they only knew it’s important to get the right product and the proper installation.
This isn’t to say contractors are bad – many of them are superb professionals. However, slip shod installation is one of the easiest ways companies shave some of the costs out of the package. That’s why many people don’t get the results they were looking for from their energy saving project.
Most companies are going to want to unload what they have to sell. Whether it’s fiberglass, or cellulose, or someone in the spray foam industry, you’re going to get a lot of urging to go all in with just their product.
The truth is you can often save thousands of dollars and get great results if you follow the right recipe with different insulations to take advantage of their various strengths and overcome their various weaknesses.
You’re probably already aware of the fact that sealing and insulating your home can be quick & easy. By sidestepping these 4 pitfalls, you’re much closer to getting the dramatic savings and improvements you’re really after.
Ready to get started and save lots of money this summer? Begin here by selecting your spray foam kit >> or give us a call at 800-516-0949.