Blown Insulation Pros and Cons
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, space heating and cooling consume 44 percent of the energy used in one’s home. By investing a few hundred dollars in properly insulating one’s home, it is possible to reduce one’s monthly heating and cooling bill by 10 to 30 percent. Considering that the average U.S. household spends roughly $650 per year on heating and cooling alone, this investment can quickly pay for itself. There are several types of insulation, but the two most common are batt and blown insulation. While batt insulation is the easier of the two to install, blown insulation is often necessary for small, hard-to-reach areas where batt insulation is not feasible.
Blown Insulation Materials
Blown insulation, also known as loose-fill insulation, is usually made of cellulose, fiberglass, or rock wool and is blown into place in the form of loose fibers. While this process sounds relatively simple, blown insulation requires professional equipment and installation. This type of insulation is ideal for wall cavities, attic floors, irregularly shaped areas, and for filling in around obstructions. Described below are a few pros and cons of blown insulation.
One benefit of blown insulation is the product from which it is made. Cellulose is most commonly used for blown insulation, since it offers the best cost-to-benefit ratio. Cellulose is primarily made from recycled paper and is therefore environmentally friendly. In addition to this benefit, cellulose is also more cost-effective than other blown insulation materials like cotton, and it is safer during installation than fiberglass.
Another benefit of blown insulation encompasses its utility and ability to insulate areas where other types of insulation are difficult to install. Blown insulation is excellent for enclosed cavities, such as walls or for unenclosed spaces, such as attics. It also disturbs any existing finishes very little, since it can be blown into small spaces.
Despite its benefits, blown insulation can also pose a few disadvantages. One of these is the fact that blown insulation requires professional equipment to properly install, which makes it very difficult to install without consulting a professional. In addition, loose-fill insulation installed in attics tends to lose some of its R value over time due to setting and moisture absorption. If exposed to intense moisture for long periods of time, blown insulation can rot and grow mold.
Like all types of insulation, blown insulation poses both pros and cons when it comes to adding insulation to one’s home. Before deciding whether to install insulation, it is always best to consult with a professional to determine which type of insulation will best suit one’s individual needs.