Energy-Saving Foam Insulation No Longer Reserved for New Homes: Homesulate gives homeowners a cost-efficient way to cut energy bills and reduce noise
With Dallas heat in the low three digits, many homeowners are sweating electric bills in the high three digits. That’s why Homesulate™, a green retrofit that can cut utility bills in half, has caught on in North Texas.
As the summer boils along, homeowners will be reminded that it is wise to insulate themselves against the cost of staying cool, and this non-expanding foam insulation has proven to reduce energy consumption by as much as 50 percent.
The non-toxic product is injected through the exterior of a home to fill the wall space surrounding it.Heating and cooling account for 50 percent to 70 percent of the energy used in the average American home, and adding wall insulation is one of the most effective weatherization steps homeowners can take. If your home is as little as five to 10 years old, you likely have one of America’s 46 million under-insulated homes, according to the Harvard University School of Public Health.
Insulating existing homes is no longer the major construction project it once was when the only choices involved removing either the interior or exterior surface to insert insulation batting or cutting large holes to blow in loose-fill insulation.
Foam insulation has usually been reserved for new homes because there wasn’t a cost-effective way to get the foam into the wall cavities of existing homes.
Contractors tried their best, drilling holes in drywall near the ceiling and ladling “pourable” versions of these expanding foams into the airspace within the wall. This method worked, but it was slow, messy and required costly repairs to patch holes and cracks in the drywall. While some homeowners could afford to upgrade to foam insulation, the additional costs for drywall repairs and repainting pushed it outside the range for many others.
Plano-based Homesulate of North Texas, owned by green builder Carolee Kamesch, offers an economical process that enables crews to inject non-expanding foam insulation into wall cavities, and even bond with whatever existing insulation may be in the wall.
Kamesch has built environmentally friendly homes through her construction company, Prestige Designer Homes.
“I have built energy efficient homes for many years, and I am glad to be able to provide residents of existing homes a proven solution to high utility costs that is both effective and affordable,” Kamesch said.
Cost recovery from energy savings and tax credits can be a matter of only a few years, she said.
In addition to energy savings, Homesulate wall foam insulation is highly rated (NFPA Class A and UBC/BOCA Class I) for its fire resistance and reduces outside noise up to 80 percent.
Insulation products are rated in terms of thermal resistance, called R-value, which indicates the resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-value, the greater the insulating effectiveness.Homesulate has the highest R-value of any retrofit insulation available today at 5.1 Rs per inch. That’s a full 45 percent greater than blown-in fiberglass and 30 percent above the best blown-in cellulose. The company’s product delivers R-values of between R-17.8 and R-28 depending on a home’s construction.
Homesulate is also an excellent soundproofing material with a Sound Transmission Class (STC) rating of 53, making it extremely efficient in controlling annoying loud music, barking dogs and outside road noise. It can even be installed in the interior walls to reduce airborne sound transmission between rooms.
Unlike most urea-formaldehyde insulation products, Homesulate is a unique, non-toxic and a patented, proprietary material that won’t corrode or lose effectiveness over time.Homesulate wall foam is injected into the wall through small holes drilled in the mortar spaces between the brick or through other exterior siding.
This process involves drilling a row of three or four small ¾” holes within each stud cavity. The injection process begins at the bottom hole. Air is allowed to escape from the upper holes as the foam gradually replaces the air in the wall. The foam insulation has the consistency of shaving cream when it first leaves the injection nozzle. The creamy consistency allows the foam to flow into the wall and work its way around any existing insulation.
As the wall fills, the injection nozzle is moved from the lower holes to the upper holes until it is finally capped off at the top plate. This process continues around the house perimeter until the walls are all filled. Within one minute of injection, the foam solidifies and then cures fully within a day. After all walls are filled, the crew mixes mortar and fills the injection holes with matching mortar or inserts wooden plugs leaving little evidence of the insulation process.
“Ask anyone living in a new home with spray foam insulation in their walls. Their energy bills are lower than their neighbors with standard insulation, the home is more comfortable with consistent temperatures from room to room, and they don’t notice the barking dog next door,” Kamesch said.
To learn more about Homesulate, see videos of its installation, read testing data and schedule a free home evaluation, go towww.FoamMyWalls.com or call 972-570-FOAM (3626).
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