Improving home insulation is the key to keeping your home comfortable and energy efficient throughout the changing seasons. Loose-fill cellulose insulation and fiberglass batt are among the most popular types of home insulation. There has been some debate regarding which type of insulation is best for homes – fiberglass insulation has been in use the longest, but, blown-in or loose-fill cellulose has become increasingly popular over recent years.
While their costs (including professional installation by your local HVAC technician) are comparable, each type of insulation has advantages and disadvantages. Because each type offers its own benefits and drawbacks, several issues must be considered before making a choice between the two:
Fiberglass insulation is made from long strands of glass that are combined to form insulation sheets. It contains approximately 25 percent recycled materials.
Loose-fill cellulose insulation is created from shredded newspaper combined with fire-resistant chemicals. Because it contains about 75 percent recycled materials, it is considered to be environmentally friendly.
Fiberglass insulation batt is cut to fit each space and needs to be installed manually. Protective clothing is worn to prevent sharp fibers from cutting the skin. Fiberglass blanketing is generally the best choice for ceiling insulation because it retains its shape when securely fastened. It is also usually the best choice of insulation material for new walls; the batting can be installed before the drywall is completed. The batting cuts easily to fit between wall studs or ceiling joists.
Loose-fill cellulose requires a blower for installation. Insulation blowers are available for rent from your local home improvement center. While cellulose is easily blown around objects to fill oddly shaped areas, its high moisture content can take up to a year to dry completely. Because it can be blown through an opening, cellulose can be used in inaccessible spaces such as attics or other spaces blocked by obstacles, improving home insulation.
For more expert advice about improving home insulation, or for other home comfort questions, please contact the professionals at Comfort Systems. We have been proudly serving the Wichita area since 1996.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Wichita, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about Insulation and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.