There are many different kinds of insulation but today we are going to take a look at some of the benefits of cellulose insulation as compared to fiberglass insulation.
Cellulose is rated with a higher R-value than fiberglass is by square inch. Cellulose is plant-based, consisting of plant fibers. This makes it less hazardous than fiberglass and safer for you to install. There are variations of it that give it a soundproofing quality.
Advantages of using Cellulose:
- Made from natural, recycled materials rather than glass particles
- Possibly the most energy-efficient of all types of blow-in insulation
- Is very resistant to cold.
- Resistant to airflow
- When borate is added it becomes fire retardant
- Will not corrode steel, copper or aluminum
When adding insulation to an attic you have several options including fiberglass batts, blown-in fiberglass, or cellulose. When blowing into a closed wall blown in cellulose is the most cost-effective and practical option. For example, to add rolled fiberglass you would have to pull down the sheetrock walls to add the fiberglass rolls, then reinstall new sheetrock, texture the wall, and paint it.
Compare that to making small holes to spray blown cellulose that can be easily patched.
Cellulose can technically be created from any plant fibers but usually comes from wood. More specifically paper. Recycled paper products like newspaper, cardboard boxes, and other types of paper products are what is most often used. Because of this cellulose is an eco-friendly product.
The most common type of cellulose insulation you will encounter is called loose fill cellulose insulation. It typically will be blown in dry and will be dense and clumpy. If you have it blown into a closed wall moisture may be mixed in to give it a clumping factor so it sticks to the walls.
Is Cellulose Insulation Considered Green?
That is a question that has been debated by both sides. On one hand, cellulose uses up to 85 percent recycled materials. This causes supporters of the green argument to say yes it is a green product that is reducing waste from other products such as used newspapers and corrugated cardboard that otherwise could end up in a landfill.
The other side of the argument focuses on the 15 percent that is not recycled products. The last 15 percent is made up of a chemical called boric. Boric is added as a flame retardant.
Cellulose vs. Fiberglass and Other Types
If you already have finished or closed walls blown in insulation is your only choice from a practical standpoint. If you are remodeling and have the sheetrock pulled off your walls, or are building new walls you can add rolled fiberglass insulation.
If your walls are closed, blowing in loose insulation is going to be the easiest and most cost-effective option.
To recap, cellulose is a great option for beefing up your home’s insulation. It is the most cost-effective way to insulate your walls and works very well in your attic due to its loose nature that can easily fill in most shapes and areas. It is much more eco-friendly than most other options and with the addition of borate, is very flame retardant.