Homes have traditionally used fiberglass insulation. You know, the pink or yellow stuff that is layered underneath your siding or inside your attic or in your basement.

Recently, builders and homeowners have been using spray foam insulation rather than fiberglass insulation. There are two main benefits to spray foam insulation.

1. It does a better job keeping out the summer heat or the winter cold. If you look at fiberglass insulation, you see gaps. Those gaps allow the outside elements in. Spray foam insulation does not have any gaps, so it creates a thermal break and a barrier that stops air infiltration. That results in a more comfortable home, and lower energy bills…perhaps 30% lower or more.

2. It creates a cleaner home. Again, if you look at fiberglass insulation, you can see it collects dirt and dust. Since there are gaps, it does not stop all the dirt and dust. Some of it enters your home. That is not the case with spray foam insulation.

Here is how it works. The polyurethane foam is sprayed directly onto wall and floor openings as a liquid. It expands and solidifies into thick foam insulation. It is especially suited for attics and rim joist cavities in basements.

So should you rip out your existing fiberglass insulation and replace it? Probably not. But consider using spray foam insulation if you are building a new home, remodeling or putting an addition onto your existing home, or if you need to replace your existing insulation for another reason.

Finally, this is one of those jobs that is best left to a professional. Spray foam is messy and produces off-gasses during installation which can cause health issues from asthma to skin problems for the installer. Professional installers have the proper safety equipment and experience to get the job done right.

We highly recommend Chicago Green Insulation. They can be reached at 847-987-3626. Mention you are a Ravinia customer to receive a free energy consultation and a $200 discount on a spray foam insulation project of $2,000 or more by Dec. 1, 2013.