When it comes to insulating your home, you have options regarding the type of insulation material to use. The most common types of home insulation, for energy efficiency (sound insulation is a different category all together) are:
- fiberglass insulation (sometimes seen as fiber glass, fibre glass and fibreglass) - sold in blankets, either rolls or batts, and loose fill that is known as blown-in insulation
- cellulose insulation (blown-in, typically recycled newspapers and waste paper products with up to 20-25% chemicals in order to make it fire resistant - primarily boric acid, borax and other compounds such as ammonium sulfate, aluminum sulfate, ammonium phosphate, and zinc chloride.) and
- foam insulation (spray foam, as opposed to the blown-in loose fill or batts, is a spray-applied plastic.)
Jim Myers, having been in the fiberglass insulation industry for over 35 years, chooses to use fiberglass over cellulose and foam for all the Myers Insulating Services home insulation projects. Foam insulation is expensive, previous versions of foam insulation contained formaldehyde (since off the market), and cellulose has a number of downfalls - including it's 25% chemical make-up and its excessive settling factor. Read more about fiberglass vs. cellulose and fiberglass over foam insulation.
The Benefits of Blown Fiberglass Insulation
When determining what type of insulation to choose for your energy efficiency home improvement make sure when comparing fiberglass to cellulose and foam that you're researching blown-in, also referred to as blown, or loose fill, fiberglass. With our blown insulation machine we can blow up to 100 bags of fiberglass insulation per hour,and because the insulation is blown in, the fiberglass insulation expands to fill every crack and crevice to provide the ultimate in heat loss reduction - as well as keeping the air conditioned air from escaping.
- In addition to providing superior thermal performance, fiber glass blown in insulation also provides the comfort of knowing it will last the life of your home without settling or deteriorating with age.
- R-values, depending on density, can be up to 4.2 per inch meaning a one-time investment delivers savings of up to 20% on monthly energy bills every year
- Easily installed in walls and improved nesting for compaction. Can be “dense packed” into walls at an installed density of up to 2.50 pounds per cubic foot. Loose fill fiberglass insulation has been designed for use in walls, attics, cathedral ceilings and floors.
- Can be applied on top of any existing insulation to achieve improved thermal performance.
- No added harsh dyes, chemicals or unnecessary fire retardants means no risk of chemical exposure. Minimal off-shelf protective gear is needed. No one is required to leave or stay away from the job site when installing fiberglass insulation products. Drywall can be installed immediately with no wait time.
- Air tightness, thermal performance and acoustics: blown-in fiberglass insulation seals air leaks to stop cold drafts, noise and reduces energy bills immediately.
- Fiberglass is more resistant to moisture and is used as an effective vapor retarder to reduce risks of mold, improving quality of air and reducing risk of expensive repairs from rotting wood.
Why is Fiberglass Insulation the Most Common?
Once you've been in the building industry long enough you have seen the "newest" "best" building materials come and go. You've also seen your fair share of dangers associated with them. Take for example asbestos, once believed to be the best building material due to its resistance to flame and heat, and now costing billions of dollars in removal as a result of its direct links to health afflictions including lung cancer. At Myers Insulating Services, call us old-school, but we don't hop in the "newest", "best" bandwagon every time a new insulation product hits the market - especially when it hasn't been tested for centuries, like fiberglass - known to have been utilized by ancient Egyptians who wove glass fibers together.
Fiberglass, created in its current form in 1932, is the most common insulation, used in 85% of households, because it's effective, low-cost and readily available. Fiberglass insulation is made by weaving fine strands of glass into an insulation material which minimize heat transfer and is an excellent non-flammable insulation material. As an insulator, it slows the spread of heat, cold, and sound. By trapping pockets of air, it keeps rooms warm in the winter and cool in the summer and thereby serves as a convenient method to increase energy efficiency. Fiberglass is an attractive choice for home insulation because it poses no fire hazard. Most building material experts estimate that fiberglass insulation may reduce residential energy costs by up to 40%.
Health Hazards Associated With Fiberglass
Because fiberglass insulation is made up of tiny slivers of glass, they can cause skin irritation and when inhaled, possibly lung disease. These two dangers are only during installation and the crew at Myers Insulation Services always wear protective gear and take any necessary precaution. There is no danger to the home owner.