May 21, 2014

Pros for using either cellulose or fiberglass insulation

Cellulose Insulation:

1. Made from recycled materials so it is eco-friendly and green.

2. No adverse health effects from cellulose have been identified to date.

3. Cellulose has a high resistance to air flow and fluctuations in temperature do not decrease the effectiveness of the insulation.

4. The chemicals used to make the cellulose fire retardant are safe for humans but does repel rodents, insects and mold.

5. Cellulose will settle better than fiberglass and therefore has a settled R-value of 3.0 per inch compared to the R-value of fiberglass at 2.1 to 2.7 per inch.

Fiberglass insulation:

1. Fiberglass does not support combustion and requires no other chemicals for fire retardation.

2. Fiberglass is not absorbent and will not hold water. If it does become moist, it will dry out and return to its original R-value.

3. Fiberglass insulation includes recycled glass materials and uses sand as its main material, which is a “rapidly renewable resource” as defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

4. Fiberglass does not settle much over time thereby maintaining its R-value with age.

5. Fiberglass is a reliable, tested insulation material that provides energy saving benefits.

Cons for using either cellulose or fiberglass insulation

Cellulose Insulation:

1. Cellulose is made from recycled paper and naturally produced fabrics, which, even though they are treated with chemicals, are highly susceptible themselves to fire and combustion.

2. Even though manufacturers say this is a “green” product for using recycled paper, more trees will then be used to create other products for consumption because the insulation is not recyclable.

3. Cellulose will absorb and hold moisture thereby reducing its energy saving potential.

4. Cellulose tends to settle more than fiberglass, which can reduce its R-value over time.

Fiberglass insulation:

1. The glass used in fiberglass can become airborne during installation and can cause health issues when inhaled. Extreme caution must be taken when installing fiberglass insulation. Furthermore, if fiberglass insulation is disturbed after installation then airborne glass particles will be hazardous.

2. Although the glass itself will not burn and is not combustible (it will melt if the fire is hot enough), the materials used to incase the fiberglass will burn if exposed to fire.

3. Fiberglass insulation is susceptible to changes in temperature, which will reduce the R-value but as much as 50% at times. You have to install fiberglass batt insulation of the top of loose fill or blown insulation that increases the cost and time of installation.