When it comes to spray insulation, marketing terms like “green” or “eco-friendly” or “bio-based” can be more confusing than explanatory. The fact that this terminology has become marketing jargon rather than explicit product descriptions is already problematic. Rather than get shrouded in all of the marketing claims, its best to gain a good understanding of what it all means – after all, in the end, its about being an educated and informed consumer, and very much so with spray foam insulation.
Spray foam insulation can justifiably be considered a “green” product – the fact that it contributes to significant energy savings makes it “green”. It dramatically reduces energy consumption when heating and cooling a building – it consequently reduces the demands on electricity – and it could be said that fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions are positively affected. Since all of the above contribute positively to the environment, spray foam could be viewed as a responsible product.
The efficacy of an insulating product is based directly on its R-Value. R-Value is a measurement of resistance to heat flow – in other words, the higher value, the better the insulating efficiency. Assessing R-Values can quickly become a science project, but suffice to say that a reliable and reputable insulation contractor will provide the proper facts and figures. Clearly, a high R-Value (for which spray foam is renowned) will reduce energy consumption, making it environmentally responsible.
Government agencies and industry groups set out guidelines for marketers making environmental claims. The guidelines are designed to diminish deceptive practices, to ensure compliance in the marketplace, and to protect the consumer from empty claims. Once again, a good contractor will ensure transparency, and will outline the realistic benefits of the product they are installing. And in the case of spray foam insulation, the benefits are impressive enough to articulate and are well published.
With so many insulation products on the market today, and with so many marketing claims to match, it’s sometimes difficult for the average consumer to make sense. Every manufacturer seems to have the best product, and every contractor seems to be the best at what they do. The very best way to determine what’s best is to be well informed, and to inquire. A good contractor will provide honest answers, and will explain the ins and outs of an installation, especially with spray foam insulation.
Probably the most confusing of all marketing claims is relative to cost. The truth is, the initial cost of product and installation is only one factor. The long-term results and outcomes should be weighed, along with the project cost. The benefits of a particular product should also be weighed, and compared with other products. With spray foam insulation, for instance, the application lasts a lifetime, without the need for maintenance – it’s a cost-benefit equation that merits consideration.
All in all, it’s the educated customer who makes the best decisions on products, pricing and installation, and a reputable insulation contractor will welcome that educated customer.