What is Icynene?

The Icynene Insulation System® is a low density, open cell, spray-in-place, soft foam insulation. Icynene is a premium product that is known for its energy efficiency, noise reduction performance, and positive effects on health. Icynene has been featured on the television program “This Old House” and is often featured in The American Lung Association's “Healthy Home.” It is the preferred insulation of Tom Silva, the general contractor of “This Old House” (See “This Old House 12/02 issue page 52). In the 11/04 issue of “This Old House” pg. 58, it mentions that Tom Silva feels that this technology “is the insulation technology to beat. ”  In fact “This Old House” has announced its next project, a rundown 100-year old duplex that will once again utilize Icynene. The story will unfold over 16 episodes premiering nationally on PBS in October 2006. Check the This Hold House TV Schedule.

Why use Icynene instead of conventional products?

Conventional insulation products for homes and buildings leave gaps and seams, allowing air to pass in and out, as well as leaving the occupants defenseless against invading pollen, pollutants, and noise.

Icynene ® insulation, an environmentally friendly expanding foam, forms a tight seal. There are no cracks or seams where air can get in or out. In addition, Icynene is slightly hydrophobic which means that should it get wet, it will dry itself out once the source of the moisture is eliminated. Other types of insulation require removal and disposal to control mold growth.

Using Icynene ® to insulate your walls, ceilings, floor, and attics will:

  • reduce energy costs versus conventional insulation
  • provide a quieter indoor environment
  • enhance indoor air quality by blocking out allergens and pollutants

Icynene and Home Owners

Home owners will appreciate that Icynene is a “green” product, and an Energy Star product: You can get Leeds credit, and it is the only insulation that has been certified by the Envirodesic Agency as being non-carcinogenic. For more details, visit Insulation Smart.

In most construction, we suggest that attic vents be eliminated.  This allows the building to be encapsulated, isolating the building environment; and in conjunction with a carefully designed HVAC system can make the indoor air quality (IAQ) better than the outdoor.  Because Icynene air seals the building envelope, it eliminates many moisture problems making it a healthy solution to maximizing the indoor air quality.

You can look at the website www.buildingscience.com for more information on the elimination of attic vents. The Federal DOE followed this concept in the “New American Home” built in Las Vegas in 2003 (See www.nrel.gov/docs/fy03osti/32944.pdf ) in building an energy efficient home.  They do not endorse products, but it is my understanding that they utilized Icynene in this home.

Incidentally, at the 2006 International Home Builders' Show in Orlando, Icynene was chosen as the insulation for four (4) of the demonstration homes; The New American Home 2006, NextGen's “Peace of Mind”, Susan Susanka's Not So Big Showhouse 2006 & the Show Village “First-Time Buyer” home.

For more information, see the Icynene website.