Winterizing – Cellulose Insulation

For quite a while now we have been talking about the use of spray foam to dramatically cut back on Cold Air Penetration.  Foam is a great product because it can completely seal every crack and crevice.  But, like everything Foam does have its limitations and there becomes a point where we look for another product.

Today we will look at Cellulose, in particular Dry Loose Fill Cellulose.  In recent years the demand for Cellulose has increased greatly mostly because several studies have been done showing the benefits of Cellulose and the popular demand for Green Building techniques.  Cellulose is an old type of insulation and is generally made from paper products that are headed for the Land Fill.  Newspaper, cardboard, paper, and paper products are shredded and then treated with fire retardants; the result is what we know today as Cellulose Insulation, it typically is bought in “bales” that are highly compressed looking like a bale of hay; not to be confused with bailing out your boat.

The compressed Cellulose is installed using a machine that fluffs up the Cellulose and then blows it through a tube or hose up into the attic.  When Cellulose is blown into an attic it is referred to as Dry Loose Fill; there is a “wet” configuration of Cellulose but that is a topic for another day.

Like all products Cellulose does have disadvantages.  It’s insulating value, or it’s R-Value is less than spray foam, with a R-Value of R-3.6 to R-3.8 per inch it is good but not the best.

The advantages of Cellulose are many.  It is an extremely effective insulation and can easily achieve virtually any desired R-Value in areas where the depth of the insulation is not a concern.  In an attic space it can be blown in to a depth of about 16” and will achieve an R-Value of R-60.  That is excellent.

In addition Cellulose is probably the least expensive form of insulation available not to mention that it uses paper products that are will be saved from entering the Land Fill.

We recommend Cellulose as a great insulation for attics, it achieves a lot for a reasonable cost. 

Don’t forget that insulation in the attic alone is not going to solve your problems, start with stopping Cold Air Penetration.

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