• Spray foam insulation has many advantages as it lasts longer, is made of recycled plastic has a better R-rating, can fit in the tiniest of crevasses, and is moisture resistant, but it does cost more upfront. 
  • Blown-in insulation is cheaper upfront but will not last nearly as long as spray foam insulation and has a lower R-rating which will leave your house less temperature regulated.
  • Spray foam is a better choice of insulation that more people are turning to to insulate their homes


In the heat of the summer or dead of winter, you want your home or business to be able to withstand the changing seasons. Insulation will provide comfort to your space by sealing your home from unwanted elements. One of the key decisions when building a home or business is which insulation to choose as there are many options in the market. This article will compare and contrast two popular options, spray foam insulation vs blown-in insulation, from quality, to cost, to overall performance.


Spray Foam Insulation

Spray foam, also known as polyurethane foam, is a mixture of liquid chemical materials that react to create the foamy substance used for insulation. This dense foam coats the inside of exterior walls and expands 30-60 times its volume in order to fill any gaps that may allow outside temperatures to sneak in. As one of the industry’s finest, spray foam has become the go-to method of many builders and homeowners.


Pros of Spray Foam Insulation

There are many reasons why spray foam insulation remains one of the best in the industry. One example is that its high density allows it to block out more of the heat/cold of the seasons, thus giving it a high R-value. This scale is used in the industry to determine the insulation’s capabilities to prevent airflow and minimize heat transfer. The R-value of spray foam can range from R-3.7 up to R-6.7 depending on if it is open cell or closed cell.

With a high R-value comes higher sustainability and energy efficiency. The foam insulation is able to hold off those unwanted temperatures, keeping your heating and cooling systems from working on overdrive. Spray foam can also retain its properties for up to a century, cutting down on maintenance and delivering energy efficient insulation for the long run.


Cons of Spray Foam Insulation

One downside to spray foam insulation is the cost. It is the more expensive option upfront being $3 per sq. ft. However the initial investment of spray foam insulation will pay off over the years by saving you money on energy bills.


Blown-In Insulation

Blown-in insulation is composed of loose-materials that fill the joist and stud cavities, or along the floors of attics. Some of the materials that deliver the best R-values in this insulation category are cellulose, rockwool, and loose-fill fiberglass.


Pros of Blown-In Insulation

Blown-in insulation is also a popular choice because of its low price and ability to deliver suitable R-value. Depending on the material, blown-in insulation can deliver an R-value ranging from R-2.3 to R-4.3. This option is cheaper upfront, however it may cost more later down the line.


Cons of Blown-In Insulation

The materials of blown-in insulation deteriorate and sag overtime, causing more opportunity for unwanted temperatures to make it inside. It will also cost more in maintenance since it will need to be replaced after 10-20 years.


Spray Foam vs Blown-In Insulation

Now that we have seen some of the pros & cons of spray foam insulation and blown-in insulation, let’s see how they match up in different areas.


Energy Efficiency Comparison

When comparing which insulation has better energy efficiency, R-value has a big role to play. Because of its thickness and ability to expand into gaps, spray foam has a higher R-value. Your energy bills run lower as the spray foam does the work of blocking those unwanted temperatures. The R-value of blown-in insulation is lower due to its loose materials and is more prone to air leakages. This option can make your heating and cooling systems work harder to get your house to a comfortable temperature.


Cost Effectiveness Comparison

Although blown-in insulation is cheaper upfront, it may cost you more in the long-term. Spray foam holds its properties for 80-100 years, whereas blown-in insulation holds for about 10-20 years. With blown-in, the costs along the way will add up as the insulation may need more maintenance and replacements. Blown-in insulation lowers energy bills by 25%, while spray foam cuts down on those monthly energy bills by 40%. The cost of spray foam, although it is more expensive upfront, will pay off through the years and provide peace of mind that it is much lower maintenance and saving money on energy costs.


Insulation Lifespan Comparison

The chemical composition of the spray foam insulation allows it to maintain its properties and prove to have a longer lifespan than blown-in. Not only does it have high longevity, but it is also very low maintenance since it holds its shape and doesn’t require frequent replacements. The loose materials that make up blown-in insulation can start to sag overtime as it deteriorates, resulting in lower R-Values that then require more maintenance. If this insulation is well maintained, it can still last for up to 50 years.


Which Form Of Insulation Is Better?

Spray foam insulation proves to have more benefits in the long run than blown-in insulation. It may cost more upfront, but it is more energy efficient, has a longer lifespan, and is lower maintenance. This insulation also scored a higher R-value, confirming that it has better quality and holds its properties well. Overall, we would recommend that spray foam insulation is the better choice.


Spray Foam Insulation From Eagle Insulation

Eagle Insulation located in Durango, Colorado is your local spray foam insulation specialists. We serve the greater Durango, CO area and provide spray foam insulation services for your home, commercial building, or ag building. Our insulation contractors only focus is on spray foam insulation so that we can best provide this insulation properly so you can get the maximum benefit. Check out our website or give us a call so you can get a free estimate on your insulation contracting project.


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