Fiberglass vs. Cellulose vs. Spray Foam Insulation

October 15, 2020

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.

Fiberglass Insulation

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

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.

If you need help in installing or deciding which type of insulation is best suited for your house, our expert contractors will be happy to help. Contact us here.

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TESTIMONIALS

Thank you Dutch and Christian from Green Stone Energy LLC for a job well done. Our family will be feeling much warmer this winter. No more heating the outside.

— Lisa, Alex & Thorsten, Audubon, PA

A really good weatherization Company. Would highly recommend.

— Nancy S.,

The work that Green Stone Energy completed at my home was awesome! The crew arrived as scheduled and completed their work in the most timely manner. They were very neat and made sure to clean up after themselves. I couldn't believe that the owner of the company even came to check on the progress...The work that Green Stone Energy completed at my home was awesome! The crew arrived as scheduled and completed their work in the most timely manner. They were very neat and made sure to clean up after themselves. I couldn't believe that the owner of the company even came to check on the progress of the crew and went through the whole process with me. Would definitely recommend Green Stone Energy to others - such a pleasant and hassle free experience.

— Nancy M., West Chester, PA,Nancy S.,

They arrived when they said they would. spread drop cloths where they would be walking. The owner stopped by to check on the progress. All went well. It took about 8 hours from start to finish. My initial observations are showing a positive improvement in the houses ability to hold temperature... They arrived when they said they would. spread drop cloths where they would be walking. The owner stopped by to check on the progress. All went well. It took about 8 hours from start to finish. My initial observations are showing a positive improvement in the houses ability to hold temperature which is an increase in overall comfort. It is too early to determine a dollar savings in gas and electric usage. I would recommend and use them again. All were very nice to deal with.

— Nancy M., West Chester, PA,Nancy S.,

We contacted Green Stone Energy after a PECO energy audit showed a lack of insulation in our attic. Everyone was very professional, friendly, prompt and did a quality job for us.

— Monica H., West Chester,

Estimate was done after a complete examination of my concerns.

— Susan M.,

We called in Green Stone Energy after a Peco audit recommendation and had two quotes. One was a bit more involved but also 80% more $$. They answered my many questions and upon recognizing at the start of the project they had forgot to include two small areas in their quote, they included the We called in Green Stone Energy after a Peco audit recommendation and had two quotes. One was a bit more involved but also 80% more $$. They answered my many questions and upon recognizing at the start of the project they had forgot to include two small areas in their quote, they included the work itself anyway for the price quoted. The two gentlemen who came to do the work were kind, courteous and of no bother. They kept us informed through out the project and we felt very comfortable the service. I'd recommend Green Stone Energy on a variety of levels but a star also goes to the improvement to our comfort level in the house - that itself is remarkable. Why did we wait so long?

— Jan L., ,Newtown Square

Very satisfied with all the work. The installers were very professional, efficient, polite, on time, and kept everything covered and clean.

— Mary K.,

I can't thank Dutch Schwertner and his team enough for their thorough evaluation and installation of energy efficiency at my Salon. Andrew and Ryan arrived as scheduled with a smile. Their preparation and communication skills really impressed me . I was so pleased with all the care they took to... I can't thank Dutch Schwertner and his team enough for their thorough evaluation and installation of energy efficiency at my Salon. Andrew and Ryan arrived as scheduled with a smile. Their preparation and communication skills really impressed me . I was so pleased with all the care they took to protect my furniture and flooring. My staff and clients are enjoying the more comfortable temperature and I'm loving my Peco bill. This company is stellar and worth every penny!

—Susan S.,

Extremely pleased with everything we received from Green Stone Energy. Everything, from a prompt and fair proposal to timely service appointment. Did not try to oversell us and even recommended not having certain things done as it would not improve the comfort of our home. The work was done... Extremely pleased with everything we received from Green Stone Energy. Everything, from a prompt and fair proposal to timely service appointment. Did not try to oversell us and even recommended not having certain things done as it would not improve the comfort of our home. The work was done extremely well and cleaned up prior to departure. They answered every question and concern we had as well as followed up afterwards to make sure we were pleased.

—Gary M.,

Everything went perfectly. Wonderful staff to work with at all levels. Highest level of professionalism and workmanship. The night that the work was done, warm air was streaming into our third floor bathroom, for the first time ever. We were amazed at how much energy we must have been Everything went perfectly. Wonderful staff to work with at all levels. Highest level of professionalism and workmanship. The night that the work was done, warm air was streaming into our third floor bathroom, for the first time ever. We were amazed at how much energy we must have been wasting even though we had made many different energy saving improvements before. We're looking forward to seeing how it affects our heating bills!

— April & John S.,

Mark came and conducted a thorough inspection. A well detailed estimate was provided. On the first date of the 2-day installation Mark came on site to review the intended job. Both installers were pleasant and more than competent. They cleaned up well each day. They installed ceiling and... Mark came and conducted a thorough inspection. A well detailed estimate was provided. On the first date of the 2-day installation Mark came on site to review the intended job. Both installers were pleasant and more than competent. They cleaned up well each day. They installed ceiling and basement insulation.

— Marilyn C.

Our experience with Green Stone Energy was outstanding. The first visit involved identifying the energy-saving opportunities that our home presented. We discussed those opportunities and I learned why and how the required work would be done. The second visit involved doing the actual work, which... Our experience with Green Stone Energy was outstanding. The first visit involved identifying the energy-saving opportunities that our home presented. We discussed those opportunities and I learned why and how the required work would be done. The second visit involved doing the actual work, which took half a day and was completed by two outstanding workers who impressed me with their expertise and diligence in getting the work done. I observed them carefully and was impressed with their professionalism and attention to detail. They were very respectful in terms of keeping our home clean even as they dealt with installing the attic insulation. I give Green Stone Energy my highest recommendation and do so without the slightest reservation. In an era when it is difficult to find truly trustworthy companies, Green Stone Energy was a very welcome surprise, and we couldn't be happier with the results.w the findings of a PECO energy audit. Dutch went over the recommendations with me, and got me a proposal a few days later. The team doing the work showed up on time and were very professional. They placed drop cloths before working inside the house and vacuumed... Read More Michael K.,"We had an initial call with Green Stone (GS) and agreed to get an estimate. We did the same with several other contractors. The GS representative "Dutch" came to our home and was very knowledgeable of the PECO results and provided a detailed list of energy saving measures we could possibly... Read More Mike K. ,I wanted to thank you for your help with my insulation job. In particular, I wanted to give a shout out to Greg who was on every aspect of the job. He was detail oriented, knowledgeable, conscientious, and a pleasure

— Angelo A. ,

An estimator came over to review the findings of a PECO energy audit. Dutch went over the recommendations with me, and got me a proposal a few days later. The team doing the work showed up on time and were very professional. They placed drop cloths before working inside the house and vacuumed... An estimator came over to review the findings of a PECO energy audit. Dutch went over the recommendations with me, and got me a proposal a few days later. The team doing the work showed up on time and were very professional. They placed drop cloths before working inside the house and vacuumed work areas afterwards. They condu cted blower tests before and after the work to measure the progress made. Before they left, they went over the work that was done.with Green Stone (GS) and agreed to get an estimate. We did the same with several other contractors. The GS representative "Dutch" came to our home and was very knowledgeable of the PECO results and provided a detailed list of energy saving measures we could possibly... Read More Mike K. ,I wanted to thank you for your help with my insulation job. In particular, I wanted to give a shout out to Greg who was on every aspect of the job. He was detail oriented, knowledgeable, conscientious, and a pleasure to work with.Our experience with Green Stone Energy was outstanding. The first visit involved identifying the energy-saving opportunities that our home presented. We discussed those opportunities and I learned why and how the required work would be done. The second visit involved doing the actual work, which... Our experience with Green Stone Energy was outstanding. The first visit involved identifying the energy-saving opportunities that our home presented. We discussed those opportunities and I learned why and how the required work would be done. The second visit involved doing the actual work, which took half a day and was completed by two outstanding workers who impressed me with their expertise and diligence in getting the work done. I observed them carefully and was impressed with their professionalism and attention to detail. They were very respectful in terms of keeping our home clean even as they dealt with installing the attic insulation. I give Green Stone Energy my highest recommendation and do so without the slightest reservation. In an era when it is difficult to find truly trustworthy companies, Green Stone Energy was a very welcome surprise, and we couldn't be happier with the results.w the findings of a PECO energy audit. Dutch went over the recommendations with me, and got me a proposal a few days later. The team doing the work showed up on time and were very professional. They placed drop cloths before working inside the house and vacuumed... Read More Michael K.,"We had an initial call with Green Stone (GS) and agreed to get an estimate. We did the same with several other contractors. The GS representative "Dutch" came to our home and was very knowledgeable of the PECO results and provided a detailed list of energy saving measures we could possibly... Read More Mike K. ,I wanted to thank you for your help with my insulation job. In particular, I wanted to give a shout out to Greg who was on every aspect of the job. He was detail oriented, knowledgeable, conscientious, and a pleasure

— Michael K.

"We had an initial call with Green Stone (GS) and agreed to get an estimate. We did the same with several other contractors. The GS representative "Dutch" came to our home and was very knowledgeable of the PECO results and provided a detailed list of energy saving measures we could possibly... "We had an initial call with Green Stone (GS) and agreed to get an estimate. We did the same with several other contractors. The GS representative "Dutch" came to our home and was very knowledgeable of the PECO results and provided a detailed list of energy saving measures we could possibly pursue. The list was broken down into three specific areas based on PECO's report. Each section had an individual price and we were told we could do any or all of them and provided with the benefits of each. The team showed up on time, were very knowledgeable, professional and courteous. They explained what they were going to do before they did it and why they were doing it the way they were. They treated our home with respect and covered up and/or cleaned up before and after they were done for the day. The only surprises we received were pleasant. This included some attic work that did not need to be done as specified based on further inspection. The change in plan actually saved us some money from the original quote but the end result was the same. The guys finished on-time as promised and left all areas as clean or cleaner than before they arrived. "Dutch" also stopped by each day to ensure things were going well and to answer any additional questions we had. The majority of our work was attic work and pictures don't do the job justice. We are very happy with the work and results."my insulation job. In particular, I wanted to give a shout out to Greg who was on every aspect of the job. He was detail oriented, knowledgeable, conscientious, and a pleasure to work with. Get more information on this project by checking out our page on Angie's List!

— Mike K.

I wanted to thank you for your help with my insulation job. In particular, I wanted to give a shout out to Greg who was on every aspect of the job. He was detail oriented, knowledgeable, conscientious, and a pleasure to work with.

— Anna Massi,

Everything went perfectly. Wonderful staff to work with at all levels. Highest level of professionalism and workmanship. The night that the work was done, warm air was streaming into our third floor bathroom, for the first time ever. We were amazed at how much energy we must have been wasting... Read More

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