Basic Insulation Types: Comparing For Best Value

Improving insulation is a great way to increase the energy efficiency of your home and lower your energy bills. Loose-fill insulation can be a great choice for retrofitting an existing home with improved insulation or for insulating oddly shaped areas. Cellulose and fiberglass are the two most common filler materials used. Both are best installed by professionals using a blower. This ensures they are installed at the optimal densities and cover every nook and cranny. There are a few differences between fiberglass and cellulose to consider when choosing which is best suited for your home:

  • Fiberglass: Some of the materials used to create fiberglass insulation are newly manufactured, but fiberglass also usually contains 20 to 30 percent recycled glass. Because it can be harmful to people if not handled properly, it’s especially prudent to have loose-fill fiberglass professionally installed. Its densely spaced fibers are great insulators and do not settle over time. Fiberglass is lightweight compared to the amount of insulation it provides, making it especially suited for situations where the building materials may not handle the extra weight of heavier fillers. It doesn’t hold or absorb moisture, doesn’t attract bugs and is not flammable.
  • Cellulose: Manufacturing cellulose has less of an environmental impact because it’s made from ground-up recycled newspapers. However, it does require the addition of fire-retardant chemicals to reduce its flammability. These chemicals have been know to occasionally corrode plumbing and wiring. By weight it is not as efficient at insulating as fiberglass, so it may not be suitable in some situations, such as drywall with long distances between studs. It also tends to settle over time, so contractors usually will overfill to account for expected settling. It does, however, offer superior sound muffling, so it potentially can offer a quieter interior for homes in noisy locations.

If you have any further questions on insulation or any other HVAC related concerns, please contact us at Overland Park Heating & Cooling. We offer expert HVAC services to the Greater Kansas City area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Overland Park, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

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