How effective is foam insulation and should I use it in my home?

If you’re looking to bring down the levels of heat energy consumption in your home - and those home heat bills as a result, of course - insulating foam is a highly effective option. This insulating material can be used in the walls, roof, attic and floors in your home, as well as around your home windows or in any other space that needs some added insulation. Insulation foam is often a natural substance that you can opt for for your home insulation, aside from if you go for polyurethane insulating foam. That said, there are multiple types of insulating foam out there, to suit every home, budget, installation method and desired thermal efficiency level.

What exactly is insulating foam?

Insulating foam provides effective thermal insulation, as well as very good levels of acoustic insulation. That means that wherever you install insulating foam in your home, be that in the walls or the roof, for example, you’ll stop heat energy and sound energy from travelling both in and out.

Insulating foam provides an effective layer of insulation in both small and large spaces. In fact, this insulating material is ideal for installing in even oddly-shaped, hard to reach spaces within the home as it’ll expand to fill all the nooks and crannies (roof, we’re looking at you).

That way, you can ensure full insulation coverage, reducing your home energy consumption and bringing those heat bills down in the process.

It’s important to note that one specific type of insulation foam, known as polyurethane insulating foam, differs from other varieties of this effective insulation material on one key point: polyurethane foam is far less environmentally friendly than other types of insulating foam.

So, while polyurethane foam is highly effective in terms of keeping heat in, for example, it won’t be the right choice for your home if you’re adding this insulation in an effort to up your level of environmental protection.

Applying insulating foam within your home

You can spray insulating foam into just about any crack or crevice through which heat escapes from your home, blocking it up and keeping that thermal energy safely inside. As we’ve seen, insulating foam can be especially handy for putting in full coverage insulation in the walls and roof of the home, but where you use foam insulation is really up to you!

To apply insulating foam to areas in your home, simply position the foam spray nozzle into the crack, crevice or area that needs insulation and spray. Wait for the insulating foam to expand to fill the area. Remember, the insulating foam will always expand immediately after you spray it out, so don’t overdo it on that initial spray!

Once the insulating foam has expanded fully, let it dry out for around half an hour. Then, cut off any excess foam and leave the remaining insulation layer to dry fully over a 24 hour period.

It’s important to remember that, while insulating foam is highly diverse in terms of the spaces it can fill, it’s not suitable for use as insulation in all types of environments in the home. Insulating foam won’t be able to insulate effectively in damp or wet areas, for example.

Plus, once it’s in place in your home walls, roof, or anywhere else, you’ll need to protect your insulating foam layer from the effects of bad weather and leakages.

The effectiveness of insulating foam

As we’ve seen, insulating foam is a great option for adding a layer of insulation into hard to access nooks and crannies, as well as for covering large areas of the home that require insulation in a major spray or two!

Plus, insulating foam is easy to apply in both new build homes and older homes. Great for thermal and acoustic insulation, foam insulation is a relatively quick and easy home insulation option.

Once your foam insulation is in place, you’re likely to see a significant reduction in your home heat bills. As more heat is kept in by the foam insulation layer, you’ll need to use less heat energy to achieve the same great levels of thermal comfort in your home.

What are the advantages of insulating foam?

Natural insulating foam has so many advantages that you might be surprised at how economical an option it actually is for home insulation! (Note: these points apply to natural, rather than polyurethane insulating foam).

  • Highly effective insulation levels for the walls, the roof and any other required spaces in your home, both thermal and acoustic
  • Very lightweight, as insulating foam is 99% air, weighing around 8kg per cubic metre
  • Easy to adapt the foam to all surfaces and structures in the home
  • Non-polluting, non-toxic and fire safe
  • Easy to apply in the home as a DIY insulation project
  • High levels of air tightness and water impermeability
  • Environmentally friendly (despite its industrial look!)
  • Easy to order canisters of insulating foam online and choose your own delivery method

Once you’ve insulated everywhere you need to in your home, why not install a Netatmo Smart Thermostat to optimise your energy usage? Remotely program and adjust your home heat settings from wherever you are to make sure you're only using the energy you need.

Insulating foam: aerosol tips

You’ll find that insulating foam comes in aerosol containers to ensure it’s easy to spray out and use to create effective, comprehensive layers of insulation throughout your home.

Because of this, it’s key to remember that aerosols have sell-by dates. Make sure that you check the date on the canister before you spray that foam insulation in your home!

Also, remember not to throw any insulating foam aerosols that you use at home in regular waste. Where possible, recycle them instead.

All in all, foam insulation is a cost-effective, simple and easy to install method of insulation for your home. Providing effective thermal and acoustic insulation for the walls, the roof and any other spaces in the home, your foam insulation will bring down those heat bills!