Choosing Between Fibreglass & Cellulose Insulation

Which choice is best for your home?

When it comes to choosing insulation materials, there are two primary materials that are considered the most popular: cellulose insulation and fibreglass insulation. Each of these two types of insulation comes with its own advantages and disadvantages, which can make choosing between them difficult. If you want to know whether or not to pick fibreglass insulation or cellulose insulation for your home improvement or renovation needs, consider the following guide to get you started.

Fibreglass vs. Cellulose: Insulating Values

The first factor to consider when choosing between these two types if the insulating values. The insulating values between these two types of insulation are fairly similar, however, there are some key differences between the insulation values that should be recognized.

Fibreglass insulation does not settle over time, whereas cellulose insulation may settle if the insulation is not packed densely enough. On the other hand, cellulose insulation will retain the same insulating value at any temperature, whereas fibreglass insulation can lose some of that value as the temperature gets lower.

Fibreglass vs. Cellulose: Health and Safety

Another factor to consider is the safety and any general health concerns that each type of insulation poses. Cellulose insulation is mostly comprised of recycled newspapers and other safe materials which do not pose any significant health risks. Fibreglass insulation, on the other hand, is made of extremely fine glass fibres which can cause health problems if the insulation is not properly installed; fibreglass insulation needs to be covered with a secure material after installation to ensure that the fibres do not filter through the air.

In regards to safety, there are a few things to consider. Cellulose insulation is made from recycled newspapers, so it is inherently flammable if it is exposed to flames or otherwise ignited. However, this can be offset by treatment with fire-retardant chemicals which will reduce this safety concern. Fibreglass insulation will not burn because it is made from glass fibres.

Fibreglass vs. Cellulose: Environmental Concerns

If you are concerned about the environmental friendliness of each material, then you will benefit from knowing which of these two materials is more environmentally conscious. Cellulose insulation is made primarily from recycled materials–on average, about 75% of cellulose insulation is made from recycled material. By contrast, around 35% of fibreglass insulation is made from recycled material. The reason why a smaller amount of fibreglass insulation is made from recycled material is due to the nature of fibreglass insulation creation, which does not make it easy for companies to use recycled material when compared to newspaper-based cellulose.

Final Thoughts

Choosing between cellulose and fibreglass insulation can be difficult. However, with the above factors in mind, you will be able to make an informed choice about which type of insulation is best for your home renovation, home project, or other insulation related project. If you need any additional help or have questions, be sure to contact Calgary’s insulation experts at 4Weather Insulation & Roofing today.

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