Blown in insulation will allow you to protect your home and reduce your energy expenses by up to 20 percent. One of the most convenient features of blow-in insulation is that it can be retrofitted – or installed right over top of existing insulation, so long as the old material is in good condition. Unlike batt-style insulation, blow-in insulation doesn’t need to be cut or adapted to get it to fit into tight corners or to fill in spaces around electrical wiring or plumbing pipes.
Protection and Performance
Attic blown insulation can be installed either on its own, as a brand new installation, or it can be added to enhance the R-Value of existing insulation. From a professional standpoint, our team recommends that attics be insulated to an R-Value of 49, which means it will take approximately 49 hours for thermal energy to pass through the material and either escape from the home or allow exterior temperatures to infiltrate into the interior of the house and affect its temperature.
- Achieving an R-Value of 49 with blown-in insulation will require about 17 inches of insulating material
- Our rule of thumb is: If you can see the floor joists in the attic, you need to add more insulation
- Previously installed attic insulation does not need to be removed before blown in insulation is installed
Preparing Your Attic for Maximum Performance
Before we install blown in insulation, we always air-seal the attic to ensure that every nook and cranny that may diminish your home’s energy efficiency is closed-up. A great deal of mechanically treated air is lost through attic features like through attic hatches, plumbing vents, recessed lighting fixtures, duct work and dropped soffits. Treating these features with expanding spray foam and caulking prior to installing insulation helps create a more solid, energy-efficient and eco-friendly home.
Fiberglass: Contemporary fiberglass insulation materials are created using 40% recycled materials, and this reduces the amount of energy required to produce the product by as much as 13%. Fiberglass insulation is also now being produced in formaldehyde-free formulas that eliminate the off gassing of formaldehyde emissions that have been linked to eye, skin and respiratory irritations in human beings as well as the phenomenon known as “sick building syndrome.” The new generation of fiberglass products is safer and more eco-friendly than ever, and their insulating properties are unmatchable.
Cellulose: Cellulose insulation is made with up to 85% of post-consumer paper products. Recycled newspapers and cardboard are treated with borate and ammonium sulfate to make the material fire, rodent, insect and mold resistant. Blown in cellulose maintains its stated R-Value even after settling, which is one of the benefits of this material.
Cotton: Cotton blown in insulation is one of the most popular materials, because it is made of natural, hypoallergenic fibers and up to 80% post-consumer denim. Cotton creates a more reliable barrier between your home and the elements than any other insulating material. It improves energy efficiency and pulls double duty as a soundproofing agent. Cotton insulation is an organic, sustainable material treated to perform as a Class A building product – it is resistant to fire and fungi, it contains no chemicals irritants, and it emits no volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) whatsoever.
Wool: This natural material has long since been used throughout Europe, Mongolia, Australia and Canada, and it is now emerging in the United States as one of the greenest, most eco-friendly insulation products available. Wool comes in two varieties: blended and unblended. Blended wool insulation is made using 5% to 15% recycled polyester to bond the fibers together. Unblended – or natural – wool is simply machine bound (or teased like hair) after it is washed, making it completely biodegradable, once it has reached the end of its performance life. Wool is naturally fire resistant, and it emits no VOC’s. If you and your family are focused upon reducing your carbon footprint, wool insulation is the way to go.
If you have been considering your residential insulation options, contact our team today. We can discuss blown in insulation and help you decide which insulating material is right for your needs and your home.