There is no such thing as “insulating” paint, as I noted in an earlier blog. However, that fact hasn’t stopped paint dealers from promoting these worthless high-priced coatings to gullible customers.
One former distributor of “insulating” paint is Alton King of Longmeadow, Mass. After setting up a company called Energy & Conservation Management Inc., King became a distributor of Super Therm, a paint manufactured by Superior Products International. The manufacturer claims that Super Therm (also spelled “Supertherm”) has an “R-19 equivalent rating” and “provides the same protection as 6 inches of fiberglass.”
The manufacturer of Super Therm has been making outlandish claims for years. Back in March 2004, I wrote an article for Energy Design Update, “R-Value Scofflaws,” debunking a claim by Superior Products International that Super Therm “provides R-19 in 7 mil thickness.”
Although the claim that a coat of Super Therm paint is equivalent to R-19 insulation is clearly false, Alton King apparently believed it. In fact, King was such a believer in the insulating value of Super Therm that he decided to use the paint to insulate his own home.
In January 2001, King hired Richard McCullough to build him a new 7,291-square-foot home at 49 Memery Lane in Longmeadow, Mass. After the house was completed, the town assessed the home at $1,060,300.
The builder hired a subcontractor, Paul Tetro of Dee Service, to design and install the home’s HVAC system. Tetro was given plans showing a house with conventional fiberglass insulation. After performing a Manual J calculation, Tetro designed a hydro-air heating system — that is, a system using a boiler that sends hot water to a heat-exchange coil in the air handler. Space heat is distributed through ductwork. The system included a…