Improving the R – as in recovery – value

Recovery Act expected to boost insulation's appeal in commercial and consumer markets

Sure, the recession is still on. But if you sell insulation, the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act really has installed a New Deal. As Tracy Bisha of GreenFiber sees it, happy days are here again. “The whole insulation retrofit business just got a big push,” she enthused.

The cause of her enthusiasm is the energy efficiency upgrade tax credit in the big stimulus bill. “If homeowners purchase our product through a retail location, they can get a 30 percent tax credit back on their purchase, up to $1,500,” she pointed out.

“On the contractor side, we're seeing a number of different initiatives,” Bisha continued. “Basically, there's all the money allocated towards the weatherization program, plus some state and local government programs to create more energy efficient homes.” Insulation upgrades should also be in demand as government buildings are upgraded to LEED standards.

GreenFiber is well-position to pick up some of those jobs. The product is composed of 85 percent recycled content, and is free of formaldehyde and VOCs. In addition, with 8 manufacturing plants spread across North America, most of the U.S. qualifies for the 500 mile credit.

As in past recessions, it's reasonable to expect an influx of new installers as general remodeling contractors try to pick up a little extra work on the residential and light commercial side. “We're seeing contractors across the country buy our product through the retail channel and they've been contacting us for sales materials to promote themselves,” said Bisha. That's kept GreenFiber's phone lines busy, too. “Our customer service department is really good at talking people through the installation process and solving any of their problems. They will handle anything,” she insists.

‘Handling' is considered a plus for cellulose insulation. “It's one of our best selling points,” said Bisha. “The first thing we tell people about our insulation is that it's non-itch. You'll need a dust mask and safety glasses, but that's about it. You could basically roll in our stuff if you wanted to.”

The product supplied through the retail channel is supplied in 30 pound bags and designed for dry blow-in, so it's suitable for attic spaces or for use behind a membrane. Consumers – and some contractors – will need to rent a blower for proper installation.

Depending on the depth of the material, the R-value can vary between R-13 and R-60. The material adds fire resistance and also reduces outdoor noise.

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Closed cell foam for spot, whole structure insulation

CertaSpray Foam Insulation from CertainTeed can be utilized in whole house and whole building applications, or in combination with other insulation systems – particularly in hard to reach areas. By blocking off potential air leakages, CertaSpray minimizes hot and cold spots and impedes the penetration of moisture and outdoor allergens.

Consisting of a two-component foam, CertaSpray is sprayed into a building cavity and quickly expands to fill every opening. The closed-cell formula results in a hard, rigid consistency that provides added structural integrity to walls.

Low-odor CertaSpray Closed Cell Spray Foam has earned GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality and GREENGUARD Children & Schools certification, and qualifies for LEED credits.

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