Homes built with ICF exterior walls and the proper complement of windows, doors, HVAC systems, and methods, generally accomplish at least a 50% savings in heating and cooling. In some cases, depending on the area and climate, home owners experience as much as a 70% decrease in energy use and costs.
Let's explore the reasons for this savings.
Compared with masonry, ICF exterior walls offer high thermal resistance, also known as R-value. Walls made of ICFs perform similar to a wood-frame wall constructed with R-30 insulation. But that's just the beginning. The equivalent R-value performance of ICFs consists of three primary factors. The first is the R-value of the expanded polystyrene. Second, the thermal stability of massive concrete walls smooths the temperature fluctuations. It keeps the walls of the house warmer when cold temperatures hit, and somewhat cooler when the outdoor temperature reaches high levels. Air infiltration can account for 20 to 40 percent of the heat load requirements of a wood-frame building. ICFs eliminate this air infiltration. As a result, with the synergetic performance, ICF walls actually perform as high as R-40 - and even higher depending on your geographic location. The higher the R-value, the better the walls are at stopping heat flow.
Whereas traditional builders often emphasize the value of extras and what you see, no other technology exists that offers the high R-values, thermal mass and absolute airtight construction of the ICF home. These are permanent benefits that will never change. When you consider energy costs your monthly cash outlay will experience a substantial savings.
As well, energy efficient construction will help the home perform better, reducing potential problems with moisture. If you have a long-term investment perspective, the ICF house is the value proposition for you.