When it comes to insulating your house, there’s much more to the process than just providing protection to your home from the elements and vagaries of nature. In fact, you must take into account the fact that home energy usage contributes to increased global demand, and the more we reduce our energy consumption, the more we can reduce our energy costs. Insulating our homes so that our heating and cooling bills are dramatically reduced is one way to do this. And to this end, cellulose is an insulator’s best friend.
For those in the dark, cellulose in its most simple and common form is recycled newspaper treated with fire retardant to make it fire proof. It is one of the best known insulation materials, and keeps heat, cold and sound out. Besides this, there are various reasons to choose cellulose when you want to insulate your home. Although most Americans prefer fiberglass to cellulose, the latter is better because:
- It is better for the environment because it is made of recycled paper, cardboard, newsprint and other waste paper products. The amount of recycled content is more in cellulose than in fiberglass.
- It does not pose as high a risk to health as fiberglass.
- When tightly packed, it is more efficient than fiberglass in heating or cooling a home. The R value (the higher this value in a material, the better its insulation properties) for cellulose is 3.0 per inch while that of fiberglass is between 2.1 and 1.7 per inch. It is also more tightly packed and this prevents air leakage through cracks and gaps.
- It can be used in attics (roofs), walls and other surfaces that are free of dampness and gaps.
- Cellulose that is not deteriorated is fire-safe because the tightly packed fibers don’t allow air combustion and thus prevent the spread of fires through walls and other gaps in the house. However, if the cellulose deteriorates because of moisture, it is not fire safe. So check the quality from time to time to ensure the safety of your home and its occupants.
The only drawback of cellulose as insulation material is that it costs much more than fiberglass, but the potential benefits far outweigh this minor disadvantage which is anyway a one-time cost. Most people who build green homes choose cellulose as their preferred insulation material even though it costs twice as much as fiber glass at times.
If you are looking at the energy saving effects and the “green” value of cellulose insulation, you should also consider how foil radiant barrier, also known as green energy barrier, works together with this type of insulation to make your home more energy efficient.
Before you go in for cellulose as your chosen insulation material, ensure that your walls and other surfaces are dry of moisture and protected from dampness. Cellulose absorbs more moisture than any other kind of insulation, so you must be careful to ensure that your walls and your insulation are not prone to mildew and mold. You also need to seal all surfaces before cellulose installation. Use the services of an expert contractor so that you maximize your benefits and minimize your costs.
About the Author:
This guest article was written by Adrienne Carlson, who regularly writes on the topic of construction management degrees. Adrienne welcomes your comments and questions at her email address: firstname.lastname@example.org