When applied, spray polyurethane foam expands to insulate and fill cracks and gaps to provide a consistent air seal. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, using spray foam to minimize air leaks in walls and roofs, a typical homeowner could save up to 15 percent on heating and cooling costs.
Spray foam insulation can be used to seal areas that commonly involve air leaks, including:
- Plumbing vents
- Attic hatches
- Wiring holes
- Behind knee walls
- Basement rim joists
- Windows and doors
- Open soffits
- Recessed light, furnace flue or duct chaseways
Thermal Performance and R-value
Spray foam insulation provides excellent thermal performance and the highest R-value (a measure of thermal resistance) per inch for greater potential energy savings compared to other forms of insulation of comparable thickness. The higher the R-value, the greater the insulating properties of a material.
R-values for spray foam insulation range from 3.5 to 7 per inch of thickness, and some spray polyurethane foams provide the same energy savings in half the amount of space that may be typically required. To further illustrate the efficiency, if all of the 113 million single-family homes in the United States used SPF for insulation, Americans could save up to $33 billion in energy costs each year.