How many times have you asked that question on a cold winter night? Some studies have shown that a house can lose up to 40 per cent of its energy due to air infiltration. On older homes the percentage may be even higher.
Batt insulation is only as good as its installation and any gaps, tears, or loose strips are invitations for outside air to enter your house. Walk around the inside of your home on a cold windy day and place your hand in front of electrical outlets on outside walls and over the trim on your windows and doors – any draft that you feel is air finding its way past the existing insulation.
While you may not feel the draft unless you’re in its path, there’s a pretty good chance that your wallet will. Depending on how much air infiltration is occurring, there can be a significant impact on your home’s annual heating and cooling costs – after all, your HVAC system is constantly working to heat and cool unconditioned outside air.
What’s the answer? In an effort to make homes and buildings more energy efficient, many builders and architects are now using polyurethane spray foam to create a total insulation envelope for their structures. This foam fills every nook and cranny that exists in the exterior framing so outside air has no way to enter. Polyurethane spray foam can give your exterior walls and attic space a higher R value than batt or fiberglas insulation and you don’t have to worry about it settling over time.
Higher R values in the exterior walls and no air infiltration can mean less work for your HVAC system and more savings for you. It’s estimated that a home with polyurethane spray foam insulation can have 30 per cent lower energy usage than one with traditional fiberglass insulation. It’s an eco-friendly upgrade that pays for itself in no time at all.