|From the Bayer MaterialScience Spray Polyurethane Foam E-Update - Summer 2014
Writing for USAToday.com, Motley Fool outlined the top 20 ways Americans waste money. Some are not surprising – gambling, credit card interest, traffic tickets. What is surprising is the amount of money it costs homeowners for wasted energy costs. Business Insider estimates homeowners spend $146 BILLION on wasted energy annually, making the expense the #1 way Americans lose money. Energy loss stems from a variety of sources such as inefficient lighting and improperly maintained HVAC units. But AIR LEAKAGE can account for as much as 30% of heating and cooling costs!
This news is not new. So how can homeowners reduce the amount of money slipping out of their homes? Here are tips for builders, designers and SPF contractors to share as summer approaches and people in many parts of the country crank up the A/C:
- Thermographic imaging clearly shows hot and cool spots. SPF contractors can use imaging results to pinpoint areas of the home most in need of improved insulation.
- Homes are built in such a way that they inherently lose air through gaps in the exterior envelope. Leaking air = leaking money. If a homeowner bought a boat, would it be OK for the boat to leak? SPF can help fill those gaps and may reduce all those leaks.
- Do you know where the hottest place on earth is during the summer? A home’s attic, which is right above lots of conditioned living space. Depending on a home’s location, typical summer temperatures in the attic are in excess of 145 degrees! Installing SPF in attics creates a semi-conditioned space, helping to reduce the vast temperature difference between the home and attic.
- This study of three identical homes built side by side in San Antonio, Texas compares three levels of energy-efficient construction. The proof is in the pudding, as they say; study results show the home with open-cell SPF (and other energy-saving measures) achieved a HERS index of 37 and an envelope leakage rate of 1.95 ACH50 (air changes per hour at 50 pascal.) The home with fiberglass batts came in at a HERS index of 86 and a leakage rate of 5.84 ACH50.
- An experienced SPF applicator conducting visual inspections of typical problem areas such as the roof deck and basements/crawlspaces may be able to identify areas where homeowners can improve efficiency.