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What is Building Science? (Definition/Fundamentals/Importance)

energy efficiency

What is Building Science? (Definition/Fundamentals/Importance) Blog Feature
Amanda Ringler

By: Amanda Ringler on September 17th, 2018

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If you’re doing research to make your home more energy-efficient, then you’re probably seeing a lot about building science.

The next thing is to figure out what is building science for existing homes.

RetroFoam of Michigan has been working to make homes more energy-efficient and comfortable since 2002 using foam insulation. That experience means we understand building science and how it works when it comes to your home.

In our continued efforts to educate homeowners, we will explain building science to you and what it means for your home.

What is Building Science?

Building science is the study of buildings in relation to energy efficiency and air sealing, as well as the energy consumption of appliances like your furnace or air conditioner.

It’s important for any contractor you hire to work in your home to understand building science concepts and fundamentals. Basically, you want them to know what factors dictate how easy or difficult it is for your home to be efficiently cooled or heated.

You also want your contractor to be able to discern how susceptible your home is to air infiltration, moisture buildup, as well as how the ductwork in your home is laid out in relation to the appliances.

All of these factors play into building science and how easy or difficult it might be to heat or cool your home.

Building Science Insulation

When it comes to building science insulation, your contractor’s goal should be to help you save on your heating and cooling costs and make your home more comfortable.

Your insulation contractor should know the outside and inside factors that will affect those monthly bills. One way an insulation contractor shows they understand building science is with BPI certification.

One thing to consider is adding insulation to your home that creates an air seal. That air seal will help reduce your monthly energy bills as it keeps the outside air out and the air you pay to treat inside.

Just so you know, traditional insulation doesn’t create the air seal you are looking for. Cellulose and fiberglass both still allow for air movement through the material.

Injection foam and spray foam insulation create the air seal that will help reduce any air movement while saving you money on monthly energy bills. Foam insulation is designed to completely fill the cavity, including all of the nooks and crannies where air likes to leak.

Learn More About Air Seals

Now that you have a better understanding of building science and what it means for your home, you might be interested in how insulation plays a role.

If you would like to learn more about foam insulation and how it can help make your home more energy-efficient, check out the Learning Center on our website.  

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About Amanda Ringler

Amanda previously has worked as a breaking news and crime reporter, TV news producer, and editor in Flint and Detroit. Throughout her career as a journalist, she has won several awards from The Society of Professional Journalists - Detroit Chapter and the Michigan Press Association. As part of the RetroFoam of Michigan family, Amanda uses her experience as a journalist to write content that will help educate homeowners on the benefits of foam insulation. When Amanda isn’t writing, she’s spending time with her husband and rescued huskies. She also loves knitting, making art, cooking, and hosting dinner and a movie night for friends and family.