The Science of Experience



How Spray Foam Helped Homes in an Energy Efficiency Test

Posted by Becky Eades

Jul 30, 2015 10:30:00 AM

In the United States, more energy is used by buildings than by any other economic sector. Thus, when looking for ways to reduce energy expenditure, it is homes and buildings that organizations like the Energy Department often turn to. Homes have come a long way in terms of energy efficiency, even over the last decade. In order to measure the energy-efficiency of some new and common home plans, CPS recently put three homes to the test.


The three homes were:

A control home, which was built to building codes, and used standard fiberglass insulation.

A middle home, which was insulated with a combination of polyurethane spray foam insulation and fiberglass

A solar home, which was fully insulated with spray foam and equipped with solar panels to manufacture its own energy.

The organization measured the air changes per hour to determine how well insulated these homes were. Compared to the control home, the middle home had 40 percent fewer air changes per hour. The solar home, which was insulated completely with polyurethane spray foam insulation, had 70% fewer air changes per hour. This meant that homes insulated with spray foam were far less leaky than those insulated with fiberglass. This translates to less energy use.

Another remarkable point was that the solar tiles were able to provide 30% of the energy needed by this high-efficiency home. They would have barely been able to make a dent in the energy needs of a standard home insulated with fiberglass.

Spray foam is not the only material that can help build energy-efficient homes, but it is certainly a very effective choice. To learn more about spray foam, or to find an applicator in your area, contact NCFI Polyurethanes. 

Topics: Energy Efficiency