For both residential and commercial construction projects, insulation is just one of the many costs that home and business owners need to consider when undergoing a construction process. And like other projects, the overall cost of insulation will depend on the type of insulation you choose. If you don’t have experience choosing insulation, you might be tempted to choose the insulation type that will help save some money in your budget. But the truth is that this could wind up costing you more in the long-term.
While fiberglass insulation may offer cost savings upfront, spray foam insulation is more effective, particularly in homes that experience harsh winters. It also offers a variety of other benefits, including some that could save home and business owners money in the long run. Fiberglass insulation has been the norm for homes across the U.S. for years, but that trend is rapidly changing as homeowners learn the true overall cost of spray foam. Keep reading to learn more about these costs and benefits, and what you need to know to make the right choice for your next project.
Factors That Impact the Overall Cost of Spray Foam in Construction
Like all types of home insulation, the actual cost of spray foam insulation by square foot will vary depending on the exact type of foam and its properties, as well as the company that’s installing it. In general, spray foam insulation varies anywhere from $1.36 to $2.63 per square foot. By comparison, fiberglass insulation costs anywhere from $0.88 to $1.64 per square foot.
But this isn’t the only cost you’ll need to consider when choosing insulation for your home or business. Let’s take a look at some of the other “costs” you need to know.
Your home’s insulation helps to keep your home insulated from the elements. On a hot day, the insulation between your walls helps to keep your cooled, conditioned air inside, and locks out the hot air outdoors. In winter, the process is reversed. Without insulation, or with poor insulation, your home loses cool and warm air more quickly. In turn, this means that you run your heat or air more frequently. This not only costs home and business owner’s money, but is also bad for the environment.
R-values are used to measure an insulation material’s ability to insulate a home and prevent energy lost. The value measures the insulator’s ability to resist conductive heat flow. The higher an insulation’s R-value, the more effective it is at stopping heat from getting into a home or from escaping it from the inside.
Fiberglass insulation has a low R-value—as low as just 2.2/inch for some types. Spray foam has a high R-value; in fact, spray polyurethane foam insulation from Superior Insulators has an R-value of 3.9/inch. Additionally, our products are GREENGUARD GOLD certified. Not only does this save you money, but it’s also better for the planet.
Having a low R-value isn’t the only way that fiberglass insulation is harming the environment. Spray foam insulation is an HFO product; this means that it is produced with materials that are formulated to lessen the impact on the ozone layer. Causing no damage to the ozone layer, spray foam insulation has earned a Global Warming Potential Score of 1, making it the best choice for the environment. For home and business owners who are passionate about reducing their carbon footprint, this is one big benefit of investing in spray foam over other insulation options.
Save Fuel on Delivery
While some cost savings of spray foam insulation, like the long-term energy savings or the benefit to the environment, are tough to measure, this next cost isn’t. Because of the nature of fiberglass insulation, delivery costs are often high. The insulation must be transported, often leading to high delivery and fuel costs. Spray foam, by comparison, is far lighter and easy to transport, helping you to save some cash during the construction process.
Fiberglass insulation offers clear cost-savings compared to spray foam, and offers a similar life expectancy. However, the lifespan of fiberglass insulation depends on the conditions. Fiberglass insulation may settle over time, making it less effective. It’s also susceptible to damage from moisture. If you live in an area that experiences high humidity, or if your home or business suffers a leak, mold and mildew may form, reducing the effective lifespan of the insulation.
Spray foam offers resiliency to mold, mildew, and moisture. While you may not save money during the construction process, over time, this can help to avoid the cost of a premature replacement of your home or business’ insulation.
Window on Insulation Installation
When it comes to installing insulation around windows, fiberglass and cellulose insulation are at a disadvantage. While it can be inexpensive and easy to install, it may not properly create an air barrier to lock in heat and air conditioning.
Using spray foam insulation around windows creates a more effective barrier. In turn, this may lower your energy costs, which will save money over time.
Calculating the Overall Cost of Spray Foam in Construction
At Superior Insealators, we carefully inspect your property to suggest the best insulation type, keeping in mind your budget and the unique demands of your construction process. While spray foam offers some great cost-savings in the long-term and is more environmentally friendly, other insulation products, like fiberglass and cellulose may also be a good choice for your project. Contact us today for a free estimate on insulation for your next construction project.