Summer. In most places in the country that’s a good thing. In Phoenix it means hiding indoors and getting burned by your steering wheel. Our summers aren’t about picnics and backyard water balloon fights. They are more about finding dark air conditioned rooms, i.e; the movies and bowling.
It’s also when our electric bills hit their all time highs. $375 a month anyone? One problem we have at my house is that the newer houses aren’t that well insulated. Not like the old fashioned brick homes. Those things will keep the sun out. But stucco and styrofoam don’t do all that much. They didn’t even require city inspections for insulation until 2013. My house was built in 2004 so shoot, I’m not even guaranteed to HAVE insulation. There are companies that will come and squirt that foam insulation into the walls and attic. We’ve seriously been thinking about doing that. They say it will save us up to 50% of our electric bills. I’m guessing that’s for summer time only though. It’s not going to make it less expensive to watch the entire series of Breaking Bad in one sitting. Ok, maybe two sittings.
I dug out an old electric bill to see our usage. It’s not an exact science but I figured out that we use roughly 1,000 kWh per month extra in the summer. That’s an average of the 6 hot months over the 6 not hot months. (1,766 average from May – Oct. vs 733 average Nov – Apr.) Ok, so let’s say that spray foam will save us half of the extra electricity in the summer. So we would use about 500 kWh less per month for the 6 summer months, or 3,000 kWh less per year. Following me?
What about the winter? We don’t really use our heat. We might turn it on at night in Jan and Feb just to make sure the kids stay warm but it’s not even worth calculating. It’s very minimal.
Ok, back to our savings. At about 11 cents per kWh I would save about $330 per year. We plan to be in this house for about 10 more years.
That gives me a lifetime savings of roughly $3,000. I doubt that installing spray foam is cheaper than that. I probably wouldn’t ever make back my money. I would be saving energy though. But according to this energy conversion calculator it would still take me 403 years to save up the 1.21 Gigawatts that I need to power my time machine.
Looking around on forums doesn’t seems to give me any idea of prices. For those posters with houses my size the prices range from $3,000 to $7,000. So even on the low end I’m not looking at good news. I guess I’ll stick with the pink stuff for now.