Cellulose vs. FiberglassThe following is a summary of an extensive Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) report. The NRDC is a non-profit environmental membership organization with over 300,000 members and contributors nationwide:
The NRDC has concluded the following:
~ Dr. Arthur Furst, Toxicologist
The walls, ceilings, and floors of your home are full of odd shaped cavities and obstacles like plumbing, air ducts, and wiring. For your insulation to work effectively, it must completely fill around these obstructions without gaps or voids.
Installation is critical in determining how insulation performs in your home. How well does it fit in different size wall cavities and around countless obstacles? Is it cut and patched in? Or is it custom fit?
Cellulose insulation is sprayed or blown into walls, conforming to your home and surrounding you and your family with a seamless insulation system. Fiberglass batts, on the other hand, are cut and pieced together, leaving gaps, voids & areas of compression.
In December 1989 and January 1990 the University of Colorado at Denver School of Architecture and Planning studied the energy conservation efficiency of two test buildings that differed only in the insulation systems that had been installed.
Building "A" was insulated with 5.5 inches of sprayed-in cellulose in the walls and R-30 of loose-fill cellulose in the ceiling. Building "B" received R-19 unfaced fiberglass batts in the walls and R-30 kraft-faced batts in the ceiling.
Over the two-month period a number of different tests and measurements were performed.
Here's what the University researchers learned.
In their statement of conclusions the researchers note that results suggest cellulose performs as much as 38% better than fiberglass. The performance advantage of cellulose in temperate climates appears to be about 26%, and the report projects that "this benefit would become more significant in more severe climates."
Cellulose insulation benefits not covered by the University of Colorado study include:
If you're serious about saving money heating and cooling your home, about recycling and responsible use of resources, and about saving energy for our country the only insulation to seriously consider is cellulose.
A number of qualified independent product testing laboratories have cellulose insulation certification programs to assure contractors and consumers that the material they buy and install meets or exceeds government and industry standards. The National Association of Home Builders National Research Center certifies the quality and performance of cellulose insulation.
The labels of underwriters Laboratories, the United States Testing Company, or other NAVLAP-approved laboratories, or the seal of the NAHB National Research Center are reliable indicators of safe, effective cellulose insulation.
for the environment, and for your checkbook,
Scientists, engineers, and contractors have realized for many years that the most commonly-used building insulation materials are really not the best insulators. Now this "conventional wisdom" of energy conservation has been confirmed and quantified through scholarly research.
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