HVAC Contractors Are Warming up to Air Sealing
You’re already in your customer’s home assessing their heating or cooling system. This is a prime opportunity to assess their air sealing needs and boost your profits at the same time. If you currently outsource air sealing work, you might think adding a weatherization arm to your business would be time-consuming and expensive but that is not the case. There are programs available that make this business enhancement easier and more profitable than you think.
Air Sealing vs. Insulation
Homeowners might think fiberglass or cellulose is sufficient insulation for their home, but those traditional products do not actually air seal. While the home might be insulated, unless it is air sealed, the structure will still experience significant air leakage, that could most likely be reduced. That is where you can help – by stopping the air infiltration.
Best Option for Air Sealing
Traditional air sealing methods such as caulking and weather stripping require extensive time to apply, but there is one material that creates an effective barrier with a fraction of the time and cost – low pressure spray polyurethane foam. Using spray polyurethane foam is one of the easiest, most efficient ways to stop air infiltration in existing construction, and you can do it for less than you think!
Getting into Foam
Low pressure spray polyurethane foam is available from companies like Comfort RXSM, a business that provides contractors the most effective air seal products, including spray polyurethane foam systems, training and support services. The company offers an easy, convenient and affordable way to get started with air sealing. For less than $3,300, HVAC contractors can purchase a starter kit that includes all of the equipment you need - a Mobile Magnum™ cart, heated wrap, refillable spray polyurethane foam tanks, 100 ft. hose, nozzles, regulators, and 1,010 board feet of foam - enough to effectively air seal attics and rim joists in two to three 2,000 sq. ft. homes. Homeowners will typically experience substantial savings in their utility bills offering a return on their investment in less than 4 years.
All of the necessary training is provided and the foam, Handi-Foam® E84 Class 1 formulation, can be applied with only one laborer. Handi-Foam is designed to fill and insulate large voids and surfaces and is available in a variety of sizes, making incorporating spray polyurethane foam into your HVAC business model a cost-effective approach to entering a growing market.
Your customers call you to handle their home comfort issues. Air sealing is simply a natural extension of your business, and if they are already purchasing this service from someone, why shouldn’t it be you?
Sealing Critical Areas
Air infiltration in existing homes can be most prevalent in key areas such as attics, crawlspaces and rim joists. Sealing these critical areas with spray polyurethane foam can drastically improve comfort and reduce energy costs for homeowners. Closed-cell, low pressure spray polyurethane foam is the best option when air sealing because it can also act as a vapor retarder, assisting with other common problems in existing homes that can lead to moisture problems.
Vented attics can often be the best environment for employing air sealing methods with low pressure spray polyurethane foam because attics typically contain several spots of air and moisture penetration. These problem areas include top plates, junction boxes, can lights, pipe penetrations and drywall-to-wood connections. Quickly spot treating these problem areas with a product like Handi-Foam spray polyurethane foam will seal out unwanted air through these penetrations. Look for additional products to assist with spot treatments such as can light covers to help prevent the risk of fire hazards.
Rim joists are another prime spot for air and moisture infiltration. Traditionally, many rim joists have been insulated solely with fiberglass, which does not stop air and moisture infiltration and could lead to problems if it gets wet. Additionally, since fiberglass provides insulating properties but is not an air barrier, it cannot stop air infiltration – the best defense against energy loss.
Recent case studies show a 10 – 20 percent reduction in air exchanges per hour, simply by sealing a home’s rim joists. For example, Comfort RX recently worked to seal rim joists on a 2,400-square-foot home in Kansas, built in 2007. By simply applying two inches of Handi-Foam to the rim joists, a reduction in the annual infiltration rate, estimated at 11.4 percent, was achieved. This reduction in air infiltration translated to an estimated cost savings of almost 20% percent in heating and cooling expenses, according to Hathmore Technologies, the certified HERS energy rater that performed the testing.
Crawlspaces can be a major contributor of moisture in a home, as well as cause “cold spots” in the main floor. Ideally, a crawlspace should be kept dry and tightly sealed, and spray polyurethane foam is one of the easiest ways to insulate hard-to-reach areas, like crawlspaces.
With a system that is affordable and easy to use, you will be able to bring value to your customers, solve their weatherization problems and build their trust to increase repeat visits, all while boosting your bottom line and expanding your business.
Call Comfort RX now to get started 1-877-446-5451 or visit www.comfortrx.com.