Insulation plays a huge role when it comes to keeping your home cool and comfortable. If you’re building a new home or considering replacing the old insulation in your existing home, then you’ve probably been researching your options to see what types of insulation are available.
In your research, you may have noticed that two of the most popular insulation choices are fiberglass and cellulose. Why are these two options so popular, and what are the differences between them? Here is a quick guide to help you determine which type is right for you.
Fiberglass insulation usually costs less to install, but its R-value drops in extreme heat or cold, when the temperature fluctuates rapidly, or when it gets compressed. This means that it is less energy-efficient than cellulose, so while you can save money on the initial cost, you also may see higher energy bills down the road.
Fiberglass insulation can be installed in loose-fill (blown-in) or batting (blanket) form. The batting option can be easily fitted between the studs, beams, and joists of your home and does not require any special equipment to install. Blown-in fiberglass does require special equipment to install and is comparable in price to blown-in cellulose insulation.
Cellulose insulation can only be blown-in, and because blown-in insulation has to be installed with special equipment, it costs more upfront. However, the R-value of cellulose insulation does not decrease in extreme temperatures or when it is compressed.
Compression occurs when the insulation has heavy boxes or items stacked on it, as you might find in an attic space that you use for storage, it gets walked on regularly, gets moisture damage, or compresses due to age and placement. Cellulose insulation is also much more environmentally friendly; it contains no added chemicals, is made from recycled newspapers, and has lower embodied energy than fiberglass insulation.
No matter which option you chose for your home, it is always recommended that you have a professional install your insulation to ensure that the job is done safely and correctly.