Insulation systems are needed to maintain the surface temperature above the dew-point temperature of the ambient air. Condensation is a real-world problem that, if not corrected, can certainly lead to other real-world problems. If designed, installed, and maintained properly, insulation can eliminate the problem of condensation. The damage caused by condensation is often understated. It is a potential safety hazard; it can damage surrounding surfaces and equipment; and it can be the primary cause for sustaining mold growth, affecting indoor air quality. It can also be a major contributor to corrosion under insulation (CUI).
Realizing a Return and Reducing Life-Cycle Cost
Insulation is a technology that can provide unrivaled rates of return on investment (ROI) and improve life-cycle cost. Yet, despite the overwhelming proof, insulation is often not considered from an ROI perspective. It’s not just about obtaining a return. After reviewing the significant rate of return possible, the more prudent question is: Why have we not looked at and implemented this technology in the past? Quantifying the rate of return is no longer a mystery; software and energy assessment procedures are proven and readily available. It has been estimated that a building’s initial construction cost represents only 20 to 30 percent of the building’s entire cost over its 30- to 40-year life. So the life-cycle cost of the total project deserves consideration, rather than focusing solely on the initial capital cost.
Improving Process Control and Productivity
Most processes involve fluid, air, or gas, and are designed to leave point A at one temperature or pressure and arrive at point B at another. The initial design incorporates a series of engineering assumptions. If the insulation system in the initial design is not installed and maintained, process control and productivity will suffer. A properly designed, installed, and maintained insulation system can provide the expected results. In many cases, it can even improve upon the results that are currently being realized.
Building a Better Work Environment
Study after study has proven that improved indoor air quality increases occupants’ productivity and efficiency. Noise control—whether it is in an office or in a plant—can increase productivity. Improved air quality and sound attenuation both benefit an occupant’s health, productivity, and overall job satisfaction. Insulation can play a major role in accomplishing these goals.