While many homeowners struggle with heating and air-conditioning costs, few realize the answer could lie within their walls-in the insulation.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the typical U.S. family spends $1,300 per year on their home's utility bills and energy costs are on the rise. However, by enhancing or replacing the existing insulation, they could save money and also have a more comfortable, healthy home.
State-of-the-art foam insulation can create an air barrier around the home, virtually eliminating air leakage and removing the need for other insulation materials such as building wrap, taping and caulking.
"Homeowners should choose insulation that will provide the fastest payback in terms of energy savings," says Alan Rankin, President of Icynene Inc., a company which manufactures a spray-in-place soft foam insulation."
Products such as Icynene are often used in new construction, or installed in the walls, crawl spaces or attics of older homes, which often have little or no insulation.
The insulation is sprayed as a liquid and expands to 100 times its volume within seconds, permanently adhering to the surfaces of the surrounding building materials and filling and sealing all joints, crevices and gaps. This complete coverage provides the barrier that eliminates air leakage, which in turn reduces energy costs.
It is estimated that a foam insulation, such as Icynene, may reduce the average homeowner's energy costs by between 30 and 50 per cent. In addition, it keeps homes warmer in the winter, cooler in the summer.
A water-based foam, Icynene is healthy and environmentally friendly. It does not release any harmful emissions or fibers into the air and contains no formaldehyde, CFCs or HCFCs.
Icynene has earned the recognition of the Energy Star program, a joint program of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy that promotes the use of energy-efficient materials.
The U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratories has proven the foam to be safe and effective in independent tests. It was also selected to insulate American Lung Association Health Homes in Michigan, Florida, Washington, Oregon and Iowa.
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