Comparison Between Fiberglass VS Cellulose Blown Insulation

Fiberglass vs cellulose-blown insulation is the most frequently used material to insulate homes. Fiberglass is the more widely used material, but as consumers look for ways to save their energy costs, cellulose has recently gained a lot of ground.

Both materials increase your home’s energy efficiency in various ways. We have outlined the distinctions below to help you choose one for your house more wisely.

Fiberglass Vs. Cellulose Blown Insulation

Fiberglass is manufactured from glass fibers and sand, while cellulose is derived from processed paper fibers. Neither material is an air barrier, yet both are decently effective insulators. Homeowners looking to make healthier and more ecologically sound decisions are increasingly choosing cellulose.

fiberglass vs cellulose blown insulation

Cellulose Insulation

Compared to fiberglass insulation, cellulose costs more per square foot. It is only offered as blown-in insulation, which needs specialized tools to blast or pour into an open new wall cavity, an enclosed existing wall, unfinished attic floors, and other difficult-to-reach areas.

But even at extremely cold temperatures or when squeezed, it doesn’t deteriorate, and its R-value doesn’t decrease.

Compression happens when insulation is built incorrectly, has boxes or other heavy objects stacked on it (think of all the stuff in your attic), is often walked over, has moisture damage, or has compressed against itself through time and space.

Fiberglass Insulation

The less expensive alternative is fiberglass insulation, although it loses R-value in extremely low temperatures or during sharp temperature changes. Fiberglass insulation is commonly available in blanket (batt) or loose-fill forms, which you can easily insert between studs, joists, and beams.

Despite being a good, economical option, it is not considered ecologically friendly. Although the weight of cellulose insulation vs fiberglass is rot- and mold-resistant, it does lose R-value when squeezed.

  • Energy Efficiency

Like spray foam insulation, fiberglass vs cellulose-blown insulation restricts airflow. According to a University of Colorado research, cellulose insulation 38% lessens air leakage.

More than 30% of heat or air conditioning can escape because fiberglass insulation cannot stop air from traveling through it.

  • R-value

A product’s R-value measures its resistance to heat flow. When the R-value increases, the insulation keeps more heat from escaping. Insulation for homes typically has to have an R-value of 38 or above.

Since cellulose insulation has an R-value of around 3.8 per inch, you would require about 10 inches of thick insulation to achieve R-38. Since fiberglass insulation only has an R-value of about 2.2 per inch, substantially thicker insulation is required to attain the same R-value of 38.

  • Cost

Fiberglass and cellulose insulation are inexpensive and cost around the same per inch. However, cellulose insulation is typically more expensive since it frequently requires the expert installation and specific knowledge.

  • Installation Process

It is necessary to apply cellulose insulation with the help of an insulation blower. The fibers are blasted or sprayed into the area by a long hose. The fibers may be tightly packed by the machine, resulting in an even layer of insulation that completely covers any gaps. A professional generally install it.

In most cases, fiberglass insulation comes in rolls or batts. Fiberglass insulation must be properly cut around obstructions like electricity plugs to be effective. It can take a long time to do this. You may put fiberglass without a professional’s help if a person is ready to accept a less-effective result.

Disadvantages of Cellulose Insulation

If we talk about fiberglass vs cellulose-blown insulation, you need to change the wiring in your home or make other changes. Cellulose insulation is one of the hardest materials to work with.

When the cellulose cavity is punctured, the substance merely oozes out of the hole. We have previously discussed the consequences of large cavity insulation gaps.

On the other hand, you won’t be able to remove glued-in cellulose from your walls without extensive remodeling work.

Weight of Cellulose Insulation Vs. Fiberglass

How It Works

Cellulose insulation comprises cellulose cells, which naturally act as insulators. Besides shredded paper, it contains a fire-retardant chemical called borate. As the paper disintegrates, it is transformed into fibers that act as insulators.

Numerous small glass threads that make up fiberglass insulation are packed with air bubbles. These air bubbles slow the heat transmission.

Pros and Cons

Insulation made of fiberglass is more prevalent and simpler to install. However, it is potentially explosive and does not stop air loss. In extremely low temperatures, fiberglass insulation rapidly loses heat.

A high R-value, greater energy efficiency, and better sound insulation are two benefits of cellulose insulation.

The Disadvantages of Cellulose Include the Following:

  • More pricey and requires installation by professionals
  • There may not be any updates to local, regional, or state building codes for cellulose insulation.
  • Dust: Blown cellulose produces dust, which can enter a home through minuscule cracks or insufficient sealing around fixtures. A health risk exists here.
  • It is expensive to remove cellulose insulation.
  • Weight: For the same R-value, fiberglass insulation weighs less than cellulose insulation. Therefore, before selecting the insulating material, you should check to build structures for indications of weakness.

The wet spray takes a very long time to dry. However, it is employed for better sealing. You cannot cover a freshly insulated wall with sheetrock or dry it until that time. You’ve reached the end of the fiberglass vs cellulose blown insulation article.

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Insulator is a skilled author and Insulation expert with years of experience in the field. He has authored several articles and books on various aspects of insulation installation, maintenance, and repair.