As natural gas prices and home heating costs are predicted to skyrocket this winter, home buyers are more interested - and more willing to spend money - in the energy-efficiency features of a new home. It's easy to point to high-efficiency heating and cooling equipment, appliances and insulation.
Builders also can help reduce the amount of money their buyers must spend to heat and cool their homes by reducing the thermal bridging through wood frame walls. According to recent research by Dow Building Materials scientists, 42% of heat loss in typical homes comes from air infiltration (16%) and wood frame walls (26%). As the charts above demonstrate, adding rigid insulation to cover everything, including the wood framing, can improve the effective R-value for the building envelope.