A house fire is something we all want to avoid. In terms of fire resistance, cellulose insulation is superior to other insulation options. Laboratory testing has shown that 14.5 inches of cellulose outperforms wood fire blocking. The boric acid fire retardants prevent flames from traveling through the cellulose and enhance the fire resistance of any assembly that cellulose is used in. Fiberglass insulation doesn’t burn, but it melts when exposed to flame, allowing fire to spread vertically very quickly. Foam insulation burns when exposed to fire and releases large quantities of toxic smoke. The borate based fire retardants used in cellulose insulation also help discourage mold, insects and vermin. Borates are derived from naturally occurring borax and are permanently impregnated into the cellulose fibers. Fiberglass and foam insulations do not offer the same protection.
As buildings continue to be built in closer proximity and next to busy roads, the sound performance of your insulation becomes more important. Cellulose insulation offers the best sound blocking capability of any insulating material, due to its high density, air blocking ability, and vibration dampening qualities. In a 2x4 wall, cellulose achieves a sound transmission coefficient (STC) of 41, blocking out normal conversation and noise. The environmental aspects that are important in selecting your insulation include recycled content, embodied energy, and local production and manufacturing. Cellulose insulation is made from recycled newspaper and has a recycled content of over 82%. Fiberglass may have up to 35% recycled glass and foam insulation between 0 to 9% recycled content to its petrochemical formulation. The amount of energy that it takes to manufacture the insulation (embodied energy) also varies widely. Cellulose insulation is produced in regional manufacturing facilities using 750 Btu/lb of material produced. Fiberglass takes 12,000 Btu/lb to heat and process the glass, while foam insulation uses 30,000 to 48,000 Btu/lb to manufacture from petroleum based chemicals. Both are produced in large, centralized manufacturing plants. The value of your insulation depends not only on your initial price, but also on what your insulation choice will cost over a period of time in heating and cooling bills. Fiberglass has the lowest initial price, but it will end up costing much more over time in higher heating and cooling bills and reduced comfort. Foam insulation has good thermal performance, but it has a much higher initial cost compared to the other options. Foam also has limitations in terms of sound attenuation and smoke production in the event of a fire, and is not the most environmental choice you can make. The cost of cellulose insulation typically falls between fiberglass and foam, while exceeding both of them in terms of performance and environmental friendliness. Cellulose insulation is not only the green choice, but it is also the best choice when performance and comfort are desired.
For more information about Cellulose Insulation please contact us at Tanguay Homes in Newport, Vermont.
Insulation is rated by its R-value, which measures its thermal resistance or how well it holds back heat. The higher the R-value, the better. Bare concrete walls are about R-1, while attic insulation in newly-built Midwestern homes usually measures about R-44.
R-value is proportional to the insulation's thickness, but it also depends on the type of material and its density. The more air pockets an insulating product has, the higher the R-value. For example, R-38 attic insulation may be 12 inches of fiberglass batts, 10 inches of rock wool loose-fill or seven inches of expanding foam.
To read more from this article about R-value and for some more examples, please visit http://powerhousetv.com/Energy-EfficientLiving/Insulating/026759 .
It may seem like a strange question, why build an energy efficient home, but there are some people out there who are still asking this question. The case for energy efficient homes is pretty straightforward. They provide their owners with these following benefits:1. Energy efficiency saves you money.
If you have an attic, the easiest way to spot the leak is to up there on a rainy day. Water will reflect light, so bring a flashlight along. Once you locate the source of the water, mark the area. On a nice day, have a helper tap on the mark while you’re on the roof. After you pinpoint the location on the exterior of the roof, apply roofing cement or new shingles as needed.
If you don’t have an attic or just can’t find the source of the leak, you can check several places for problems with moisture or damage:
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