An Introduction to Cellulose Insulation Would it surprise you to learn that cellulose Insulation is the most common building material in the world? It shouldn't, because wood is cellulose, and you'll find more wood used in construction than any other material. You might be tempted to think of cellulose insulation as paper, or even ground-up paper, but in fact it's not. While clean, recycled paper and cardboards form the basis of cellulose insulation, National Fiber processes it back to a fibrous state, bearing no resemblance to the original paper. (The same can't be said for all makers of cellulose insulation, however.)
Advantages of Cellulose Insulation
The thermal performance of loose filled cellulose compares favorably to other types of insulation. The thermal conductivity of loose-fill cellulose insulation is approximately 40 mW/m·K (an R-value of 3.8 per inch) which is about the same as or slightly better than glass wool or rock wool. This doesn’t represent the whole picture of thermal performance. Other important aspects are how well the building envelope is sealed[clarification needed] from air infiltration, convective airflows, and thermal bridging.
Cellulose is very good at fitting around items in walls like pipes and wiring, leaving few air pockets that can reduce the overall efficiency of the wall.
Disadvantages of Cellulose Insulation Cellulose has few disadvantages. As compared to other insulation options, the R-value of 3.6 to 3.8 per inch is very good but not the best (though it competes well in cost per R-value). Spray foam has many of the same benefits as wet-spray cellulose (such as sealing the cavity), while having advantages in R-value and rigidity and air sealing. However, many spray foams utilize an environmentally harmful blowing agent, such as Enovate HFC.
Sustainable and environmentally preferable
The embodied energy of cellulose compared to all other insulation is by far the lowest. It requires 20 to 40 times as much energy to produce furnace-made insulation materials compared to cellulose. Cellulose Insulation is made by electrically powered machines while mineral insulation is made in furnaces. Cellulose is also made with locally available materials other than the fire retardant, while mineral insulation factories have to ship materials and products over greater distances.
Cellulose insulation uses borates for fire retardation. Borates are a non-renewable mined product.
The Facts About Cellulose Insullation
Dispelling the myths about mold, fire risk and other key factors of Cellulose Insulation
Cellulose insulation settles resulting in loss of original R-Value.
All loose-fill insulation products can settle over time. By federal law and industry standards compensation for settlement is built into cellulose insulation coverage charts. When installed properly in accordance with the coverage chart, cellulose insulation will not settle below the intended R-Value.
Comparing Fiber Glass and Cellulose Insulation Whether your pocketbook or the planet is your chief concern, energy effciency can add up to a lot of savings. Reducing energy demand reduces the amount of fossil fuel combustion needed to heat and cool homes, which in turn decreases the amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere. In terms of your pocketbook, reducing your energy consumption means lower utility bills. While there are many things you can do to increase your home’s energy effciency, one of the most inexpensive ways is to install additional insulation.
Cellulose insulation is one of the greenest products in the world.
Made from a renewable natural resource which diverts waste from landfills, Cellulose insulation not only limits greenhouse gas emissions during manufacturing, but also prevents waste paper from releasing environmentally harmful gases as it decomposes.
If all the paper currently being put into landfills was converted to Cellulose insulation, it would save approximately 7,030,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions per year. That is the equivalent of taking all the cars off the road in New Mexico and Nevada each and every year.
Cellulose Insulation – A Smart Choice The thermal protection of a home is essential; controlling durability, cost of operation and homeowner comfort. Fiberglass insulation is the standard bearer. The ubiquitous bales of pink and yellow fiberglass insulate more than 90% of the new homes built in the United States. But homeowners have many good choices. Plastic foams, rock wool, cellulose and even cotton insulation are readily available. Insulation materials come in many forms. They are sprayed, stapled, blown, nailed or simply laid in place. The choices can be difficult to sift, but cellulose insulation passes as a strong contender.
Smart Alternative to Fiberglass Consumers and builders have many choices when it comes to what type of insulation to use in their new home. Cellulose Insullation , fiberglass, and foam insulations are the most readily available options. Insulation decisions are typically based on performance, value, and environmental aspects. Your insulation choice not only includes its thermal performance (R-Value), but should also include its fire resistance, sound blocking capability and resistance to mold, insects, and vermin. In terms of thermal performance, R-value is not always the best indicator of how the insulation will perform in your home.
What does “R-value” mean?
R-value is a measure of resistance to heat flow through a given thickness of material. In theory, the higher the R-value, the greater that resistance. That’s fine as far as it goes.
Unfortunately, R-Value has taken hold in the consumer’s mind as a universal method for comparing insulations - the higher the R-Value, the better the insulation, end of story. But all R-Values are not created equal, because they measure only one of the factors that determine how insulation will perform in the real world.