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How Green is Spray Foam Insulation Anyway?

7 November 2013

When homeowners want to make green home renovations, insulation is often one of the first things they think about. And when their thoughts turn to insulation, it’s not long before they turn to spray foam insulation. This is because this insulation is often touted as being a “greener” choice, and one that improve the efficiency of the home. Throw into that mix the fact that it’s said that many are made from soy, and it’s green all around. But just how green is this option? And is it really better for you, your environment, and your home?

First, let’s deal with the soy issue. Alex Schuts, who’s worked on shows such as Holmes on Homes and Disaster DIY says that it’s this sole fact that has many homeowners misguided when it comes to choosing insulation for their home. But, Schuts says that it’s important to know just how much soy is needed in a product before it’s declared a soy foam.

“It’s very misleading,” says Schuts. “The truth of it is there’s only a very small percentage of soy in the spray foams that are out there.” In fact, he says, a product can be labeled as soy-based as long as there’s two per cent or less of soy in the product.

However, he says, that’s not to say that soy-based spray foam – or any spray foam for that matter – isn’t more environmentally-friendly than other types of insulation. That’s because it actually insulates the home better – much better – than other kinds of insulation. That means your air conditioning will stay inside the home during the summer, and any heat generated will also stay inside the home much better during the winter months.

This concludes our mini-series on spray foam insulation, and the green home renovations often made to include them in the home. We hope now you have a better understanding of what it is, what it can do for you,  what it can’t do for you, and how to find the best possible contractor to install yours so that it works the way you need it to.

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