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The Benefits of Installing Cellulose Insulation

One way to ensure your home is kept warm during the cold winter months is by installing an insulation system.

For the system to be effective, insulants are usually placed in areas where they can easily trap air and prevent the transmission of heat or sound.

When it comes to insulating a house, there are several insulation materials to choose from. However, most experienced insulation installers will advise you to go for cellulose.

Cellulose insulations are generally made from wood and paper. Newspapers, office paper, cardboard, and other waste paper are usually recycled to form cellulose insulation. Hence, cellulose insulation is considered to be eco-friendly.

image - The Benefits of Installing Cellulose Insulation
The Benefits of Installing Cellulose Insulation

Below are some of the advantages cellulose insulation has over other forms of insulation.

Cellulose Insulation is Highly Thermo-effective

One of the important benefits of Cellulose insulation is its high temperature control.

R-value is a metric system used in calculating how effectively an insulation material can control the transmission of heat at a particular thickness.

If properly installed, insulators with high R-value can significantly cut down the loss of energy.

Cellulose insulation has a thermal conductivity of about 40mW/mK and an R-value of 3.9 per inch, which is relatively higher than other mineral fiber insulators.

Its high R-value coupled with proper installation (preventing air penetration, convective airflows, and thermal bridging) gives cellulose insulation high thermal effectiveness.

In 1989/1990, the University of Colorado School of Architecture and Planning carried out a survey that compared the effect of both cellulose and fiberglass insulations on two identical test buildings.

The cellulose structure conserved 26.4% more energy than the fiberglass. It was also shown that cellulose performed 38% better than fiberglass.

Significant Noise Reduction

The Cellulose fibers have a natural open cell structure that can trap air, and when properly installed, it occupies all air pockets making it difficult for transmission of sound.

It has a high density which is higher than that of fiberglass, and it also has a Sound Transmission Class of 50 or above. These attributes help it to reduce sound significantly.


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Cellulose Insulation Has Remarkable Flame-Retardant Qualities

Cellulose insulation has an 80% paper composition which is highly combustible.

However, the borate component of the insulation material makes it highly resistant to fire. This feature alone makes it rank the highest on the fire safety rate, Class I.

To demonstrate how well cellulose insulation can retard fire, you can wrap a penny with a blowtorch and place it on a bed of cellulose insulation in your hand.

While the penny melts, you will discover that the cellulose is not affected, and its insulating value remains the same such that you feel no heat.

So, you don’t have to worry about the paper/wood component of your installation propagating fire because it is satisfactorily safe with flame.

It is Safe and Eco-Friendly

Cellulose insulation is environmentally friendly as it helps to reduce solid waste, especially, a waste paper which is one of the issues facing our societies.

It is made of 80% and above recycled waste paper. Statistics show that the cellulose industry, in 1994, recycled about 840 million pounds of newsprint.

The product is not toxic and does not cause skin irritations. It currently has no known health complications.

It is also void of formaldehyde, asbestos, or any harmful substances. Hence, cellulose insulation is relatively safe and eco-friendly.

Long-term Cost Savings

Statistics show that it takes about 750 BTUs and 12,000 BTUs to create a pound of cellulose insulation and fiberglass insulation, respectively.

Meaning cellulose uses about 1/8 of the embodied energy required to create fiberglass of the same R-value.

The creation of cellulose insulation consumes relatively less energy than similar products.

Its low energy requirement means fewer natural resources are consumed. Also, cellulose insulation can effectively cut down a house owner’s utility costs by 35%.

Additionally, homeowners can resell their insulated houses at a higher value, as insulation makes their homes more comfortable and reduces energy costs.

With reduced energy costs, the expenses spent on insulation can easily be recovered.

With the benefits discussed above, it is pretty clear that the cellulose insulation system is an efficient and cost-effective insulation system perfect for most types of buildings.

Although cellulose insulation has its drawbacks, still when compared with other types of the insulation system, stands out remarkably.

Suppose you are planning to install an insulation system for your home anytime soon; you should consult with an expert before making any decision.