Cellulose vs Fiberglass vs Spray Foam Insulation

Learn the Differences Between Cellulose, Fiberglass, & Spray Foam Insulation

Insulation is anything that protects your home from disproportionate heat input or loss. Heat typically has the opposite effect on your household’s comfort and monthly utility costs.
Heating costs grow in the winter as your furnace’s heat energy naturally escapes to the colder outside; cooling costs climb in the summer as outdoor heat seeps into your air-conditioned living rooms and your air conditioner performs longer cycles to make up the difference.
 
Insulation prevents heat from moving through building materials like wood that conduct and radiate heat. R-value, a number that represents relative heat resistance, is used to rate it.
 
The attic is the primary location for most home insulation upgrades. Heat naturally rises, therefore a large amount of winter heat is lost via the ceilings of living spaces into the cooler attic. The opposite is true in the summer, when solar radiation overheats the attic and radiates heat through the ceiling into the rooms below. Most homes loss or gain 25% of their heat through the attic.
 
 
The Department of Energy’s guidelines for the right amount of insulation are consistently updated as energy costs rise. According to current DOE requirements, your home is generally under-insulated if it is 10 years old or older and you haven’t replaced the insulation.
 
In comparison to a home with very inadequate insulation, a well-insulated, securely sealed home often has heating and cooling expenditures that are up to 40% cheaper.
 
The three most popular types are fiberglass batts, cellulose loose-fill, and spray foam.
 
Which comes under the heading of home insulation.
 

1). Fiberglass Insulation

 
Insulation for homes is typically provided in the form of fiberglass batts. It’s the roll-up material at the neighborhood home center that resembles fluffy pink cotton candy.
A layer of spun glass fibers sandwiched between a paper and foil backing and pre-cut to conventional widths that fit between attic ceiling joists and wall studs makes up fiberglass. Fiberglass batts can be swiftly placed because they roll out readily.
 
The R-factor of typical fiberglass insulation in the attic is around 3.2 per inch. To establish whether you need to add more to meet the current minimum guidelines, multiply the total depth in inches of installed fiberglass batts by 3.2.
 
Benefits
 
Low cost is one advantage of fiberglass insulation. Fiberglass is the least expensive insulating material, and it is widely accessible on the consumer market.
No specialized equipment or skills are required in case of pre-cut fiberglass batt installation in the attic. Any contractor of insulation can complete this task effectively.
By stacking more fiberglass batts on top of current layers of insulation to reach the recommended depth, many homeowners opt to improve their insulation themselves. If done on a cold day in the attic, this is a very simple DIY operation.
 
Drawbacks
 
The fiberglass material has the lowest R-value of the three.
 
Since fiberglass batts are one-piece blankets, it can be difficult to completely cover the attic floor because the batts don’t fit well in the various odd-sized crevices that are common in most attics.
The total covering is still challenging to obtain, however this can be handled by cutting the cloth into smaller shapes and sizes to meet each occasion.
 
• While fiberglass batts are best used on the attic floor, they are not recommended for use on the interior of existing walls. Installation of batts would require entire wall openings.
It isn’t possible to upgrade wall insulation with fiberglass batts unless you are performing a comprehensive house renovation and have already started tearing down the walls.

 

2). Cellulose Insulation

 
A loose-fill material called cellulose is made up of tiny pieces of fire-retardant-treated paper and cloth that have been ground into powder. Under air pressure, it is blown into the attic and the crevices between the walls using hoses.
When cellulose loose-fill insulation is placed, the attic floor resembles heaps of recently fallen snow. A little higher than fiberglass batts, cellulose has an R-factor of at least 3.8 per inch.
 

Advantages

 
• Because the attic floor is filled with loose particles that are blown in, cellulose provides better coverage without the need for custom-fit pieces.
 
• Cellulose is frequently the simplest material to use for replacing attic insulation. Heat transmission can be prevented by adding a thick covering of cellulose, which can also lessen air leakage.
 
• Some properties regarding soundproofing that helps to reduce the transmission of noise can be found by cellulose in walls and the attic throughout the house and can be blown into existing walls through small access hoses rather than the process of tearing down the entire wall as with fiberglass batts.
 

Drawbacks

 
Costs a bit more than fiberglass, requires a motorized hopper, high air pressure, and large diameter hoses, and is typically only installed by professionals, not by do-it-yourselfers.
If cellulose gets wet and saturated from a water source—like a leaky roof in the attic, for example—it does not dry easily and may create an environment conducive to the growth of mold.
The material might need to be removed if the damp area is substantial and harmful mold growth is a problem. Before installing cellulose, the roof’s condition should be examined and fixed if necessary.
 

3). Insulation of foam of spray

 
When the combination of two liquid chemical components is performed and sprayed onto a surface—such as the underside of a roof or into the voids of the wall – to create spray polyurethane foam insulation (SPF), a chemical reaction happens. The rapid expansion of the applied mixture fills in gaps and crevices before it dries to a firm cellular composition with good to extremely high insulating qualities.
 
There are two varieties namely closed-cell and open-cell regarding SPFeffective. Open-cell offers greater strength and stiffness, better water resistance, and improved insulating properties while closed-cell is the more inexpensive option.
 

Advantages

 
• A very positive R-factor. While closed-cell R-factor frequently reaches 6.0 per inch, open cell normally delivers roughly R-3.5 per inch, making it the preferable insulating alternative.
 
• Versatile on nearly any surface. SPF fills gaps and offers good air sealing wherever it is applied, forming a continuous insulating barrier that coats irregular surfaces, curves, and corners.
 
• Having excellent soundproofing capabilities.
 
• Without the process of opening the entire wall, it can also be sprayed through access holes into wall cavities
 

Drawbacks

 
• Costs can be up to twice as much as those of fiberglass batts or cellulose loose-fill, making it the priciest choice.
 
Only trained specialists are capable of mixing and applying spray foam insulation properly due to the extensive knowledge required.
 
• The potential for over application and resulting cost increases. If the spray is not sprayed precisely and consistently, it may be delivered in excess volume, adding depth and cost.
 
• Spraying the wooden bottom of roof sheathing may seal moisture seeped through the shingles into the wood. This could hasten the decay and disintegration of those materials. Some people who are predisposed can be allergic to the ingredients in the spray foam recipe and experience symptoms.

 

3 thoughts on “Learn the Differences Between Cellulose, Fiberglass, & Spray Foam Insulation”

  1. Whoa! It was pretty cold outside yesterday, which made my husband extremely worried about how we can stay warm inside our house throughout this cold weather. Thankfully, you reassured us that spray foam insulation is not only effective but able to reduce external noise disturbance too. Okay then, he could simply call a contractor to ensure a seamless installation sooner or later.

  2. Extremely educational post! This post gives really quality data. I’m now done with it and observe that this post is truly amazing. Much obliged to you for this brief explanation and very nice information.

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