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Evaluating Insulation: Cellulose vs. Fiberglass

Evaluating Insulation: Cellulose vs. Fiberglass

Evaluating Insulation: Cellulose vs. FiberglassWith the growing popularity in environmentally friendly products and energy-efficiency concerns there is a great debate as to which type of attic insulation is the best. The two main types of insulating material commonly used in conventional home construction are fiberglass and cellulose. Each material has its fair share of pros and cons and many green builders and environmentally conscious homeowners constantly disagree over which one has better insulative properties and which is more cost effective.

Fiberglass insulation is the most common form of insulating material used in homes today. Because it is made from spun glass, it is not flammable and therefore an excellent option for stick-frame homes. Fiberglass is a common building material that is approved by building codes around the world and well regulated by building-material authorities. Another primary benefit of fiberglass is that it does not compress over time and lose its ability to insulate (also known as its R-value). Meanwhile cellulose insulation can provide a good heat-holding capability but does settle and compress over time, thereby reducing its R-value.

Cellulose is an excellent option for those looking to build their home with the environment in mind. Cellulose material is made from recycled paper products and newspaper and thus is a great option for those looking for a more natural and safe option. To reduce the incidence of fire, the cellulose is treated with fire retardant chemicals that are not harmful to humans but do deter mice and other vermin. There are no adverse health effects associated with cellulose whereas fiberglass is known to cause itching and irritation of the skin and can cause severe lung damage if inhaled.

Overall, it is the choice of the builder or the homeowner when it comes to which insulation is to be used. Fiberglass and cellulose have similar costs to purchase and install although the installation method is different.

Either way, Air-Tro Inc. has been installing insulation in Pasadena area homes since 1969. If you have any questions about which type of insulating material is right for your home, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Los Angeles, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about insulation and other HVAC topics, visit our website.

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