The Great Debate of Fiberglass or Cellulose Insulation

by Kierra Barraza

Have you found yourself asking what the difference is between Fiberglass and Cellulose Insulation? These 2 insulation types take two routes to achieve similar goals. If you’re looking for loose fill or blown in insulation that is good for the environment and is made of recycled goods then look no further. Let’s dive into the differences between these two materials that help comfort your home and lower those energy bills. 

Fiberglass Insulation 

Fiberglass is an insulation that is made up of 40% – 60% of recycled glass. The remaining material consists of Silica Sand. Due to this insulation being made up of glass and sand, no additional chemicals are needed to treat the material. Fiberglass is naturally noncombustible thanks to the silica sand and also doesn’t hold or absorb water. Fiberglass is bought in pre-made R – Values. Since Fiberglass does not settle, it’s able to maintain it’s R- Value longer than the average insulation. In the first inch of fiberglass insulation that is laid, the acoustical value is increased by 3-4 points! This insulation is primarily for thermal and acoustical purposes. Fiberglass is offered in both batt and blankets. Since Fiberglass insulation was introduced in 1933, over 8 billion pounds of glass has been recycled.

Cellulose Insulation 

Cellulose is offered in three applications; dense packed, wet spray and loose blown. Cellulose is used to retro-fit insulation and is most commonly used in newer homes. Wet-spray cellulose has water added in during the application process and is typically used before the drywall is installed. This particular insulation is known for consisting of 75%-85% of recycled newspaper. Cellulose is treated with chemicals known to reduce pests and help aid in the insulation be a fire retardant. If the insulation absorbs water, the fire treatment is destroyed. Cellulose can also settle up to 20% after it is applied. This means you may see a rise in energy bills. 

Now that the differences between fiberglass insulation and cellulose insulation has been outlined, a decision needs to be made. Before making that decision on which insulation best suits your homes comfort, speak with an expert. If you live in the Denver metro or surrounding areas, give Ideal Home Energy a call at (303)305-3808 and/or fill out a form at idealhomeenergy.com and get a free estimate. Let the insulation experts help you and your home!


Top 3 Reasons Why You Should Replace Your Insulation

By Kierra Barraza

The U.S. Department of Energy suggest that you should have your insulation inspected at least once a year. If you have recently had a roof leak or replacement, leaky vapor barriers or unwanted rodents, you should replace your insulation to keep your energy bills low and maintain a comfortable home. 

High Energy Bills

50% – 70% of the energy used in the average home in the US is from heating and cooling. According to Colorado State University, even the newer homes are not insulated to the recommended R – value levels that are 49 for the attic and 19 for the crawl space. Your attic space and crawl space will have difficulties holding warm air in the cooler months and keeping warm air out during the warmer months. This will result in high-energy bills because your home has to work harder. By replacing your Insulation you can shave anywhere from 10% – 50% on your heating bill according to the Department of Energy. 

Dangerous Mildew 

The oxygen you breathe while in your home circulates through the Attic. An estimated 40% of the air you breathe travels through your attic space. The mildew can also appear in your crawl space. Air leaks and too much moisture in a poorly ventilated area are factors that most commonly cause mildew to lurk in your attic. A few conditions you and your family may suffer from include respiratory problems; sever allergy symptoms such as itchy and watery eyes or even a weakening of your immune system. At least 10% of the world’s population is allergic to mold according to the Wisconsin Department of Public Health Services

Rodent Excrement

Rodents find any little crack or hole in your walls to nest in your attic and crawl space. Some rodents can carry Hantavirus, which is a group of viruses, can cause a rare but deadly disease called Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome. HPS can spread from the droppings, urine and saliva from an infected rodent. The rodent excrement damages the Insulation in your home by causing a bad odor causing airborne germs to circulate through the air. Rodent problems typically increase in the winter months. 


6 Benefits of Attic Insulation

1) Saves you money

Insulating your attic space can be a great investment for your home. Residential heating and cooling account for 60% of the energy used in the average American home. If your home is uninsulated or under-insulated, you will be spending more than you should to heat or cool your home. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, you can save an average of 30% on utility costs by air sealing and insulating your home’s attic space. 

In many cases, paying a professional contractor to add insulation to your attic will pay for itself within just a few years. Xcel Energy also offers a variety of rebates for having your attic space insulated and air sealed, so you could see some money back right away!

2) Increases your home’s comfort

A very common reason for adding insulation is comfort. A home that is under-insulated is more vulnerable to outside temperature. Heat naturally flows from hot to cold. This means that depending on the outside temperature you may be experiencing hot/cold and uncomfortable rooms due to heat displacement.  

Bedrooms located on upper floors are especially vulnerable to outside temperatures. Adding insulation to your attic space is a great way to ensure these rooms stay temperate at night and in the early morning, when temperatures are at their lowest. 

3) Protects the Environment 

For those more money conscious home owners, the first benefit was probably enough. However, those motivated by helping the environment will be happy, too. Insulating and air sealing your attic can be the most energy saving project you could complete on your home. The energy saved with this means your home won’t need to make as much energy, so power plants won’t need to produce as much energy! This also reduces pollution caused by the power plants. Reducing the amount of energy we consume can have a huge effect on our local ecosystems. Not only that, it can help the entire country. 

4) Indoor Air Quality 

Obviously, the air quality of your home is extremely important, but did you know your attic insulation plays a vital role in your home’s indoor air quality? 

Outdoor pollutants can enter your home through air leaks caused by poor air sealing and under-insulated attic spaces. Insulating your attic prevents these pollutants from spreading throughout your home, allowing your family to breathe easier and enjoy cleaner indoor air. Installing new insulation can also remove pollutants that may have infested your current insulation. 

5) Protects your Home’s Structure 

Insulating your attic space can prevent physical damage to your home. It prevents any moisture from seeping in and eroding your home’s framing and walls. In the winter, the rising heat in your attic might lead to melting snow on a roof, which can then lead to ice dams. Ice dams and moisture issues can do serious damage to your home, especially the roof, which is not a cheap fix! By air sealing and insulating, you can prevent quite a few headaches down the road. If you have condensation or moisture inside your attic, it could be a symptom of  insulation issues. 

6) Protects your heating and cooling equipment

Heating and cooling equipment can be one of the most expensive purchases you make for you home. A new modern sealed combustion furnace could cost your family upwards of $6,000! 

One of the most important aspects of attic insulation is it allows your heating and cooling equipment to run less often. If your home’s insulation is able to retain indoor temperature, only then can your heating and cooling equipment rest. However, if your attic space is under-insulated then your heating and cooling equipment will need to run more often, to keep up with your home’s set temperature, causing the wear and tear to be much more significant.  


Now that you know…

With effective and clean attic insulation you could see these benefits and more for your home! If you’re interested in an insulation upgrade or you just want to see what the savings on your bills, your homes structure or the environment could be then we are the company for you! We specialize in residential insulation and other energy efficient home retrofits! Call today for a free in home estimate!

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