Foam Insulation Helps Homeowners Cut Energy Costs

Lacie Lowry, News on 6

Technology that's been around for decades is gaining popularity because of Oklahoma's triple-digit temperatures.

The summer heat is booming business for foam insulation companies.

"Very busy, backed up quite a couple of weeks," said Kyle Nightingale of Ozark Foam Insealators.

Ozark Foam Insealators is one of a half-dozen companies in the Tulsa area that installs foam to insulate a house, rather than the traditional fiberglass.

"It helps keep the air that you pump in inside a lot longer," Nightengale said.

Nightengale demonstrated a behind-the-scenes process while he was spraying his sister's home.

"I'm looking to cut costs since it's about 100 degrees outside and I think this is really going to help that," Mandy Nightengale said.

Mandy pays between $250 to $300 dollars a month on her energy bill.

Experts say foam insulation can melt that cost by as much as 50 percent, especially during the hot months, because it takes longer for heat to travel through foam than other insulation.

"The air that you pump into your house stays in four to six times longer than if you had a fiberglass or a cellulose product," Kyle said.

The foam takes 8 seconds to dry once you spray it and it lasts forever.

Mandy can't wait for the full effect.

"I'd set it at 75 and it would stay at 78. It would just stay up there," Mandy said. "I really think this foam insulation is going to get it down. I mean, you can already feel it working."

Speaking of heat, Kyle's crew typically works in attics that are 115 to 140 degrees.

Then there's the foam.

"As you spray it, it heats up to about 210. So we do add heat to a fire, so it is hot work," Kyle said.

But the hot work done in triple-digit temperatures can save money in the triple digits.

The cost of foam insulation depends on the type of house.

A newer-construction home that's 2,000 square feet will usually cost about $5,000 to insulate with foam.