What Is Spray Foam Insulation's Return-on-Investment (ROI)?
Spray foam insulation has one of the highest return-on-investment (ROI) and shortest payback period of almost any other efficiency upgrade done to a building. In many cases, people who install spray foam in their homes can expect to see an average ROI between 3 to 7 years depending on the size of the building, where the home is located, the condition of the HVAC unit, home energy usage and the areas being spray foamed.
When using spray foam, particularly in South Florida, the most important area to insulate is the attic roof deck. Up to 35% of heat loss in cold climates and up to 40% of radiant heat gain in warm climates comes from poorly insulated attics. By using spray foam, you prevent hot, humid unconditioned air from entering your attic and it keeps cool, conditioned air inside. Insulation, and particularly spray foam insulation, is the most important of defense against the outdoor elements!
Applying spray foam in your attic roof rafters creates a semi-conditioned, airtight attic space. This significantly reduces attic temperatures from anywhere between 110-150 degrees, down to within about 10 degrees of the home or usually 80-90 degrees, putting much less stress on your A/C system to keep the house cool.
Unlike fiberglass and cellulose insulation, spray foam is the only insulation that is a complete air barrier. Spray foam insulation is effective at keeping the hot, humid outdoor air from entering your building in the summer months while keeping the cool, conditioned air inside your building.
Spray foam helps make the living space more comfortable, reduces wear-and-tear on HVAC equipment due to less frequent usage and can reduce energy bills by as much as 50% or more. Instead of an attic getting to 120+ degrees Fahrenheit on hot summer days and below freezing on frigid winter nights, the attic will now be close to your home's set temperature of 60-90 degrees year-round which significantly reduces the risk of condensation on HVAC vents and wear and tear on the unit as well.
Example of Savings by Upgrading to Spray Foam in a New Construction
2,500 square feet: Average new home size
$4,500: Average cost for fiberglass batt insulation
$8,000: Average cost for spray foam insulation
$3,500: Cost to upgrade to spray foam
$2,400: Average yearly electric bill with fiberglass insulation (figuring $200 per month electric cost)
$1,600: Average yearly electric bill with spray foam insulation (Figuring 35% energy savings using spray foam)
$800: Average yearly energy savings
$3,500 cost difference / $800 yearly savings = 4.4 year payback period.
And you will continue earn the return on your investment with spray foam as it doesn't deteriorate, sag, or settle over time, unlike batt or blown products. As long as it's not disturbed, it will continue to be as energy-efficient as the day it was installed.
For new builds, other savings can include reducing your HVAC tonnage up to 25% due to having a more airtight home. It is recommended to mention that you are doing spray foam with your HVAC company to ensure the house is properly sized and reduces the risk for short-cycling.