If you’re looking to add new insulation or replace the current insulation in your home, one of the decisions you’ll have to make is whether to choose fiberglass rolls or blown cellulose. In the past, nearly all builders and contractors used fiberglass insulation; it’s cheap, easy to install, and serves its purpose just fine. Recently, though, more and more builders are opting for blown cellulose insulation over fiberglass. If you’re struggling to choose between these two different types, keep reading to learn some of the nuances between fiberglass and blown cellulose insulation.
In terms of installation, fiberglass is typically the winner since homeowners can can easily install it themselves using just a few basic tools. Fiberglass insulation is constructed in convenient ‘rolls,’ which fit directly in between studs, allowing for quick and easy installation. Just roll the fiberglass insulation batts down between the studs and you’re good to go! Some builders and homeowners may choose to nail it to the wall, but this typically isn’t necessary.
One of the disadvantages to using fiberglass insulation, however, is its reduced lifespan. It’s not uncommon for rolled fiberglass batts to peel away from the wall over time, reducing the home’s energy-efficiency. Thankfully, this isn’t a problem with blown cellulose insulation since it remains in place. This alone is reason enough for some homeowners to choose blown cellulose insulation over fiberglass.
Now for the question that’s probably burning a hole in your mind — which type of insulation offers the greatest energy efficiency? As you may already know, the energy-efficiency of insulation is measured with “R-value.” The higher the R-value, the more efficient it is. You can find high R-value insulation produced in both fiberglass and blown cellulose. With that said, most homeowners agree that blown cellulose is slightly more efficient due to the face that it blocks more air than fiberglass. Pay close attention to the R-value when choosing insulation for your home, as this plays a significant role in its ability to prevent thermal leaks.
Blown cellulose is typically the preferred choice of insulation for attics. Rather than trying to meticulously lay fiberglass insulation over the attic, homeowners and builders can simply blow cellulose insulation throughout the attic. This allows the insulation to get into the small pockets and crevices that fiberglass wouldn’t be able to; thus, creating a more energy-efficient home.