When looking at insulating a building whether residential or commercial, the type and sub-type of insulation used, is a large consideration. Spray foam insulations are commonly used to insulate tight spaces and sometimes double as an air and wind tight barrier. Whether or not they are capable of being air or wind tight often depends on whether open or closed cell foam is used.
Open cell spray foam consists of cells that do not completely seal themselves. This makes for a softer and less dense final product. Closed cell foam cells are completely sealed and tightly compressed together, creating a denser and firmer final product. This also gives closed cell foam a higher R-value (measured unit of thermal resistance). These differences also affect the cost difference between the two types of insulation.
When looking at the cost of closed cell foam insulation, one must consider the initial price of the product itself, and also the savings that come from making a structure more energy efficient. The cost can run anywhere from $1.25-$2.25 for the initial product of spray insulation, depending on the type used and the space being filled. However the density and higher R-value of the closed cell type will provide for a much more energy efficient structure, allowing for decrease in heating and cooling costs year round.
Although, provided that you will receive one step insulation and air sealing by choosing a spray, there are a few other cost considerations to look at. The products are ready-made and easily obtainable, but installation requires the skills of a trained professional. Also, to be up to standards of U.S. code, a thermal barrier like drywall must cover all foam.
Furthermore, in comparing spray insulation with fiberglass batt, you may also eliminate man-hours during construction due to the ease of installation. Sealing small areas such as around windows or electrical areas can be done with ease where cutting batt to fit can be time consuming.
And the final and perhaps most overlooked cost, is the cost to the environment. Most of these products do not contain harmful ozone destroying chemicals, and are over all environmentally friendly.
From initial costs, to the savings of energy and the environment, the cost of closed cell foam insulation can be determined many ways. Choosing insulation that best fits your needs and budget should be a well-informed decision, and should be based on individual needs specific to location a building purpose. You may also consider asking a contractor to help you with your decision.