Cellulose vs. Foam: Not All Insulation is Created Equal

Thinking about Foam insulation? Think again. Cellulose insulation offers better cost, performance & efficiency. Here’s why.

How Is Cellulose Insulation Made & What Are The Differences?

First, it’s important to understand what Cellulose insulation is and how it’s made. Cellulose insulation is made from recycled newsprint fibers that are treated with borate, a non-toxic mineral. As such, Cellulose insulation is the safest among all the other kinds of insulation there is including spray Foam insulation. This means accidental exposure won’t be harmful to you, your family, or pets.
CostCellulose is cheaper and hence, more economical for use in homes.Spray Foam is more expensive than any other kinds of insulation in the market.
InstallationWhen dense packed, Cellulose seamlessly conforms to your home.Can settle in places it shouldn't and over packing could result in wall buckle.
EfficiencyEffective at all temperatures, and can even perform better as the air gets colder.Poor R-value only equal to Cellulose for 2-3 times the cost.
SafetyNo off-gassing. Safe for children and pets.Occupants need to leave the home while product off gasses.
EnvironmentalBecause Cellulose insulation is made from organic material (used paper), it is very environmentally friendly.Oil based product which is not very green.
NoiseWill help reduce noise between rooms. This is an extra feature you should take into account when choosing insulation.Does nothing to reduce noise between rooms.

What About Foams The Differences In The R-Value?

We often get questions about Foams purportedly superior R-value — the industry measure of how well it holds back heat. Without getting too technical, it’s important to understand that while important, R-value is just one of many factors that determine the effectiveness of an insulation material in your home.

Considering the thousands of tiny gaps, cracks and penetrations between building materials, the best insulation system will have good R-Value (prevent heat loss via conduction), will be pneumatically or spray applied, fully filling the building cavity (prevent heat loss via convection), and will be densely packed (prevent heat loss via air infiltration and radiation). Cellulose meets all of these critical performance criteria!

A final thing to consider… installation method matters! As a Certified Cellulose installer, MetroNYInsulation only installs Cellulose in walls using the “Dense Packing” method. The inferior “Drill and Fill” method does not fill the wall cavity completely and leads to settling over time. Learn more about installation.

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