Innovative Designs claims its thinner, less-expensive, house wrap has an insulation value of R-3 and its thicker, more expensive product has an R-6 value, according to a lawsuit by the Federal Trade Commission. The company also claims that its advertised R-values are based on scientific testing.
The FTC’s lawsuit alleges that the R-value of both products is substantially less than 1, and the test results and a certificate described by the company are flawed and invalid.
R-value is a measure of resistance to heat flow – higher overall R-value provides greater insulating power and can reduce heating and cooling costs. Building codes throughout the country require that different areas in new homes contain enough insulation to meet or exceed specified R-values.
Insultex House Wrap, like other house wrap, is designed to keep rain outside exterior walls but allow water vapor from inside the house to escape. Innovative Designs, however, is different from its competitors because it makes R-value claims. It calls its product “the only house wrap with an r-value” and claims that it saves people money on their home energy and building costs when compared with other house wraps.
The FTC charges Innovative Designs with failing to verify its claims that the “insulation value” of Insultex House Wrap saves consumers money. The FTC also alleges that Innovative Designs provides brochures and other promotional materials to builders, dealers, installers, and building supply stores with the same deceptive claim, which they pass on to consumers.
The company’s products cost from 45 cents to 56 cents a square foot in a retail store. Other widely available house wraps that don’t claim an R-value cost from 6 cents to 24 cents a square foot.