When it comes to home insulation in PA, there are three most commonly used materials that homeowners generally choose from – fiberglass, cellulose, and spray foam. In the following blog, we explain how these materials compare in terms of effectiveness, ease of installation, safety, and more.
Let's start with fiberglass.
Fiberglass insulation comes in different types. One is called batts/ batting or rolled out insulation. The other is known as blown-in fiberglass. This type of fiberglass is typically installed in new construction walls, floors, and attics.
In fact, you can find fiberglass insulation in virtually all commercial buildings, including big-box retailers, insulation contractors, and even small hardware stores. Using fiberglass insulation to keep conditioned air indoors offers satisfactory results and is usually inexpensive.
Cellulose insulation is mostly made from recycled paper products. It is usually chemically treated to prevent burning and avoid sustaining animal life.
Our professional insulation installers in PA recommend doing some research into the type of cellulose material you are choosing.
Cellulose insulation is typically blown into walls or attics. It's relatively denser than fiberglass insulation, and therefore offers better air sealing aspects in comparison.
The difference between blowing cellulose into an attic and blowing fiberglass into an attic is that when blowing the cellulose, it can get quite dusty than when installing blown-in fiberglass insulation.
On the other hand, because it is a more dense material, it takes comparatively lesser in-depth to reach the desired R-value with cellulose than with fiberglass.
Spray Foam Insulation
Spray foam insulation is the most expensive type of insulation. It has the highest cost per inch installed. However, the high cost is usually offset because it also has the highest R-value per inch when installed.
Spray foam comes in two varieties: open cell and closed cell.
Before installing spray foam insulation, you should read about its installation process. This is because there are chemicals involved. You must carefully follow the installer's directions about leaving the house, maintaining a safe distance from the work area, etc.
Spray foam insulation is hands down the best variety for certain installations. We prefer using it for basement rim joists, when doing energy upgrades on existing homes, and for insulating crawl space ceilings where the tight area makes it extremely hard to install fiberglass batting. In rooms or houses that are inherently damp, making fiberglass or cellulose insulation prone to absorbing moisture, closed cell spray foam would be the best choice if you can afford it.