In order to have a more comfortable home, home climate control must be implemented. This system control for home climate is commonly addressed as the HVAC (heating, ventilation and air condition) system. Phenolic foam insulations are commonly used for ducts, walls, and roofing. HVAC control, when properly implemented by a competent and licensed technician like Bradford Air & Heating can bring out many benefits, not only for the home climate control but in many other aspects as well.
Proper HVAC system implementation has many other benefits such as the prevention of excessive cooling and heating, energy cost reduction, preventing the owner’s contact to hot surfaces, providing sound insulation and thermal insulation, thus bringing comfort to the owner.
The ducts play a key role in the HVAC system, thus insulating the ducts must be taken into consideration with high regard. Common materials include mineral wools, cellulose, fiberglass, and foams. The phenolic foam is a common type of foam insulation.
Using phenolic foam insulation, while effective in bringing comfort to the homes, poses various risks to the owners of the house. These risks include steel or metallic-layer corrosion, deterioration, shrinkage and other environmental hazards. Phenolic foam insulation may be able to cause severe corrosion between contacts of the metallic layer and the steel roofing installation. The gaps between the two, if not eliminated completely, may be a moisture trap that can trigger rust formation, which will eat up both the metallic layer on the insulation. If the metallic layer or the aluminum facing of the insulation gets cut or punctured with, its exposure to moisture and high concentration chemicals speed up deterioration process of the foam setup.
Proper precautions must be followed in protecting the foam, and that includes checking for defacing on the foam’s surface. Shrinkage, most of the time, is evident in any kind of foam insulation. After curing or fitting of the phenolic foam into the duct, walls or pipes, a notable decrease in the size of the foam is observed to be at about 2% of the size of the foam actually applied. 2% is a significant amount to cause a gap or leak in the HVAC system. A re-application or refitting of new foams to the gaps may be required.
Environmental effects of using phenolic foam insulation may not be seen at a glance, however, after some time, the gas as the foaming agent may be released and exchanged with the air creating air pollution. Although it has been long since most suppliers stopped producing foams that use CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) as foaming agent, there are still some who produce these kinds of foams. These chemicals, when released into the air, can be very harmful not only to human respiration but to the ozone layer too.
While HVAC focuses on controlling the internal climate in one’s home, it is still important to deal with the risk that comes with using different materials for the system, such as the phenolic foam in insulation. It is needless to say that comfort may not be achieved if risks of incurring damage to health and environment can’t be eliminated.