This is the difference in building for today or tomorrow. Value vs Obsolete.
When we here from most folks the very first time, they hardly ever consider a part of the building price to be How much it costs to live in the home. It is just like a monthly payment paying for the mortgage. Every month it costs something to heat or cool your home. What if that cost was expected to rise in the future like gasoline has recently, would you suddenly start looking for an old gas guzzler? Well your home has quit a bit longer life expectancy than your vehicle, so we believe we owe it to our customers to build into your future by putting a motorcycle engine in your home (so to speak). We are committed to build every home we build exactly in this manner whether you buy from us or not. It costs a little more initially; however it comes back to you every month in your utility bill with interest as we live into the future.
The analogy I like to use is igloo coolers or a styrofoam cups. There are lots of people who try to tell you that fiberglass batt or blown insulation is as good as foam. That an R-factor is an R-factor. Well if that were the case, we would just use paper cups with those little corrugated card board sleeves around our coffee cup. You know the difference in how long it takes to melt ice in a cup made of styrofoam or a paper cup. If it was the same rockets would put batt insulation in the fuselage. If it was the same all freezers would have batt insulation in them instead of foam. We know the difference and it is NOT the same.
Now that we have gotten the home all bundled up with the right insulation, we have to keep that unconditioned (outside air) air from getting in your home. We foam all of the exterior of the house and including the roofline of your home. We do this because there are so many penetrations from your attic into your home that the hot attic (you've been up there) will just flow into and out of your conditioned space. Your duct work is typically up in that extreme heat or cold attic and while you run the HVAC unit it influences the quality of air being delivered to your living space as well. With expanding foam we can seal every hole that it touches. It is just amazing to watch a paint like substance expand into such a large foam ball in seconds. By using the very outside envelope we can control better all exterior air penetrations so that your home is extremely tight.
(Tight! I have heard that we are getting them too tight and that it might seal in gases. ) That is why there is more to the story than just put in foam. Consider the terrarium that you might have built in school. You put a little dirt, a few plants, some moisture, and an animal into a completely tight air sealed container and watched it exist complete with rain. When we design homes with the kind of tightness that we are today, we better know how to control not only air but moisture. And why don't we just choose materials that don't off gas. We control all elements that we can and handle the balance inside your home. You may have heard the phrase "Seal it Tight then Ventilate it Right".
To sort of complete the energy package we need good equipment. The air handler of the system should run at variable speeds. What kind of gas mileage would you get if every time you got a green light you slammed the gas pedal to the floor board and kept it there until you made the next light and slammed the brakes on just to stop. Wait a minute, I married that person. A variable speed air handler will run slow most of the time so that it can remove moisture from your house for longer periods and can accelerate when it starts getting behind. The SEER number on Condensers (the thing that sets outside) tells how efficient that unit is. The higher the number the better and if it can do a great job in the summer keeping your house cool, then why don't we run it in reverse to heat with? That is called a Heat pump and I highly recommend it in this area.