Spray foam insulation is the best energy-reducing product on the market. Potential customers need to become aware that conducting an energy audit is a great way to bring about an understanding of how necessary spray foam insulation is to optimizing their investment. The real eye-opener is that new home construction can be just as lacking in essential spray foam insulation as older homes.
Before spending hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars on home make-overs, consider how much money can be saved by reducing energy costs first. Home-owners can lose enormous amounts of money by not investigating how energy-sound their homes really are. Heat loss can account for up to 50% of energy consumption. The energy used to cool a home can suffer the same fate. Unfortunately, many new homes are not as solidly built as old homes use to be. New homes can leak just as much or more air, and insulation is sometimes installed haphazardly or is absent altogether. The quality of the products used in new home construction can also be substandard.
Conducting an energy audit can be an eye-opening experience for new as well as old homes. Home-owners can hire someone to do the audit or they can do it themselves. It is a good idea to use a checklist during the inspection. Some of the obvious places to look are around windows, exterior doors, baseboards, walls, floors, around ceiling light fixtures, vents, chimneys, ducts, pipes, and attics. It is important to inspect the outside of the home as well, especially where two different materials are joined together.
Leaks are not always obvious, especially if there is little or no wind movement to carry the air. Using a hand-held thermal temperature gun is a handy way to detect temperature differences that may not be obvious during a visual inspection. Thermal guns can be purchased at popular hardware stores and can cost around $30 to $65. More expensive models are also available. The Black & Decker Thermal Leak detector uses an infrared laser that shows a color for each type of temperature detected. Point the laser at something cold, and a blue light will appear. Point the laser at something hot, and a red light will appear. Green indicates room temperature. Numerical temperature reading can also be obtained. There are many makes and models to choose from.
Thermal gun readings will indicate the areas that need to be sealed and/or insulated. Most areas of the country require a minimum R-value of 25; however, there are variances depending upon the climate. R-value recommendations are published for specific climate zones around the country. Separate R-value ratings exist for ceilings, attics, walls and other structural areas of a home.
After reducing energy costs, there will be a lot more money in the budget for all of those home make-over and renovation projects. Be energy smart first, and ease your mind that you are more in control of your budget. Enjoying the comforts of home will be all the sweeter!