An interesting study conducted by CPS Energy in San Antonio Texas is providing some very interesting results. CPS Energy had three homes with identical floor plans and varying degrees of efficiency. All three homes were sold with the understanding that the owners energy consumption would be closely monitored for this research project. One home was built to the builders standards, the second home had high efficiency appliances, heating and cooling system installed plus a combination of foam and fiberglass insulation. The third home used the same features as the second home but in addition it has solar roof tiles and spray foam insulation.
The study is about halfway complete and the US Dept of Energy is also keeping an eye on the findings. So far the findings show that spray foam insulation is proving to be more efficient than fiberglass because it does a better job of sealing the home and thus creating a “thermal envelop”.
Interestingly enough, the third home which has the solar panels and spray foam insulation has 70% fewer changes in the air temperature per hour than the first home which was built to the usual standards. The second home which has better insulation than the base home performed with 40% fewer air temperature changes. Previously most homes were built with fiberglass batting about 6 inches thick but it didn’t significantly reduce air flow and was expensive.
Some utility companies provide a rebate program to incentivize home owners who use spray foam insulation. There are also some Federal tax rebates for spray foam insulation as well. As you can see foam insulation significantly out performs fiberglass insulation.
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