In this post we will talk about the 4 main reasons you should consider Blown-in Cellulose Insulation for your attic. There are 3 main types of insulation that can be installed in your home all with different qualities and performance properties. Fiberglass is typically the cheapest but also has the lowest R-value ( ability to resist heat ), which requires more product to get the desired heat barrier, and can be irritating to the eyes, lungs, and skin. Mineral wool provides the best fire resistance and soundproofing with the second best R-value, but is heavier, more expensive, and typically more difficult to find. Cellulose insulation is a product made from recycled plant and paper materials that has a high R-value, low cost, superior coverage, and great qualities such as being fire retardant, mold and mildew resistant, and repels pests. In the next 4 sections we’ll discuss the 4 main reasons why Blown-in Cellulose Insulation may be the best option for your next home insulation project.
1. R-Value of Blown-In Insulation
R-Value is a measure of how well a barrier such as insulation can resist the flow heat. The higher the R-value number the better the material performs at blocking heat from transferring through spaces. Cellulose insulation is a dense material that when blown in settles tightly creating much less air gaps for heat transfer which naturally gives cellulose a high R-value. Fiberglass is a very fluffy material when blown in leaving lots of room for more heat travel and comes in with the lowest R-value of the three products at an average between 2.2 and 2.7. Mineral wool has a higher R-value than fiberglass insulation with an R-value of around 3 to 3.3, but can almost come in at double the cost of fiberglass and can sometimes be more difficult to find for residential applications. Cellulose insulation boasts the highest R-value of the three types of insulation with numbers generally around 3.5 to 3.8. Celluloses ability to settle tightly leaving very little space for heat to transfer gives this product the best thermal resistance per inch of depth allowing you to have the best insulating value with less product.
2. Cost of Blown-In Cellulose Insulation
Blown-in Cellulose is also an eco-friendly and cost effective product for insulating your home. Cellulose is primarily made from shredded, recycled newspapers and other paper products such as cardboard making it a great option for green energy efficiency and making it low cost to produce. Even though it is more expensive than fiberglass insulation it can still save you money by needing less product to get the desired R-value and better insulating your home. Fiberglass can typically be installed at $1.00 to $2.80 per square foot which is only slightly less than Cellulose which on average is installed only 20 cents more on the low end at $1.20 to $2.80 per square foot. Mineral wool insulation has a lot of great qualities but is better left for specific applications ( commercial, industrial ), and has the highest cost at around $1.90 to $4.20.
3. Superior Coverage
Getting maximum coverage with your insulation is vital in guaranteeing minimal air leaks and heat infiltration. Blown-in Cellulose insulation is made up of shredded paper that blows in tight and dense. Cellulose is perfect for getting into and filling in around cracks and tight, hard to reach spaces that fiberglass is just too fluffy to fill in. As a matter of fact, Cellulose is the only insulation option for reinsulating existing walls without removing drywall because of its ability to compact and fill in small crevices. It is best to have all the old insulation in your attic vacuumed out before installing your new cellulose insulation allowing for maximum coverage and effectiveness. These properties give Cellulose insulation the upper hand in providing the best coverage and resistance to conductive heat flow.
4. Fire, Mold, Mildew, and Pest Resistant
Cellulose insulation being made from recycled paper materials means it is flammable without treatment. Various non-toxic borate compounds such as boric acid and borax are used to treat cellulose insulation. These chemicals have several great effects on the performance of this insulation. Boric acid and borax are known to be very effective fire retardants, mold and mildew resisters, and pest repellants. All these things combined make cellulose a safe insulation that can provide you with healthier air to breathe and keeps pests out of your home.
As with anything there are pros and cons to every type of insulation and it can be confusing to filter through all the facts to find the right product for you. At Home Shield Insulation in the Charlotte NC area we can inspect your attic and work with you to find the best solution for your home insulation and air sealing needs. We strive to provide the best options for making your home more comfortable, healthier, and energy efficient.