Is your home leaking air? Is it not as well insulated as it could be? If so, it is time to start considering adding some loose fill insulation to your home. The reality is there are countless different types of insulation to choose from, so it can be hard to know which one is right for you. Most home improvement contractors you speak to will try to sell you on the materials they use, but the truth is their opinions are typically influenced by purchasing their products rather than facts.
At Windows on Washington, we have worked with all different types of insulation and only recommend insulation we know will work for you and your needs. In this article, we will be specifically talking about cellulose loose fill insulation so if you are considering this type of insulation, you can arm yourself with all the key facts from the get-go.
What is Cellulose Insulation?
Cellulose insulation is a type of insulation that is mostly made from recycled paper, which means it is one of the most eco-friendly insulation options on the market. How it works is that paper that would otherwise end up in landfills is broken down into smaller fibers and treated (typically with boric acid and borax as fire and pest retardants). And depending on the manufacturer, an adhesive may be added as well to help the insulation cling together and prevent settling.
How Does Cellulose Insulation Work?
Cellulose loose fill insulation is blown into roof cavities, creating a layer of insulated cover. When properly installed, there are very few air pockets left, which is why this type of insulation is one of the most highly regarded and used methods of insulating a house.
Who is Cellulose Insulation Good For?
When trying to determine if cellulose loose fill insulation is the best insulation material for your home, you need to consider the areas where cellulose insulation shines. Attics are one of the most commonly used places for cellulose loose fill insulation, and we recommend using borate stabilized cellulose for the following reasons:
- Heightened performance. The R-value of borate stabilized cellulose is much higher compared to other commonly used insulation such as loose filled fiberglass insulation.
- Eco-friendly. Borate stabilized cellulose is made from recycled materials, making it the more eco-friendly choice.
- Pest deterrent. In terms of pests, borates are one of the most effective insecticides for your home.
- No VOC. Dissimilarly to other insulation, borate stabilized cellulose does not contain VOC (volatile organic compounds) content and does not offset gas like ammonium sulfate stabilized cellulose or formaldehyde containing fiberglass does.
The cons of borate stabilized cellulose? It can be more costly than other types of insulation, but in our opinion, the advantages far outweigh the price tag.
Why We Choose Cellulose Insulation
It is a sad reality working in the home improvement industry that we often get clients coming to us after having their attics overblown with fiberglass and reporting hardly any change in comfort to their home.
Why do so many home improvement contractors often recommend fiberglass insulation over cellulose? Well, the truth is it comes down to cost – with fiberglass being the cheaper alternative. However, while the price is a factor, when it comes to insulation, the best option should be based on performance, and not what is cheapest or most popular. That is why at WoW we only use borate stabilized cellulose for all of our loose fill insulation projects. When properly installed, cellulose insulation coupled with targeted air sealing will not only improve the temperature of your home, it will also increase comfort and reduce your utility bills.