Of all the things we want our homes to provide, comfort is usually at the top of the list. In addition to the beauty and usability of the home, comfort also includes the ability to maintain a comfortable temperature, to keep the air clean and healthy, and to provide safety for your family. The most popular technique for accomplishing all these goals is the use of fiberglass insulation. It has become so widespread that you may be wondering if it is still the best choice on the market, or if it’s simply being used out of habit.
Like any other decision for your home, the choice of insulation materials is an important one that you should consider carefully, so you may be asking a simple question: Is fiberglass the best choice for insulation, or could cellulose or other materials be a better option?
The answer is clear. Contractors and homeowners use fiberglass insulation more because it is the best material for home insulation. Here are six characteristics of fiberglass that allow it to excel where other materials fall short.
The primary purpose of insulation is to increase comfort and reduce energy costs by maintaining the desired temperature inside the home, but it provides soundproofing benefits as well. A properly insulated home will have less noise coming in from the outside as well as less noise moving between rooms.
Fiberglass is much more effective at dampening sound than any other material on the market. Reducing sound transfer is important when you live near busy roads or have young children who need quiet sleep time while the rest of the family is still awake, and fiberglass is the best material for those functions and more.
Natural plant fibers used in insulation are touted for being renewable, and it is true that new plants can be grown each year to manufacture the product. However, insulation made from fiberglass uses a high percentage of recycled material. The recycled content reduces the need to manufacture additional fiberglass while also eliminating the need to dedicate more crop ground and farming resources to the production of source plants for cellulose.
Perhaps the greatest benefit of fiberglass in the insulation world is its ability to contain fire. Cellulose is a plant-based product, making it a potential fuel in case of fire. Fiberglass itself is fire-resistant, providing a barrier to the spread of fire that increases the time available for your family to escape while minimizing the amount of damage done to your home.
Firefighters can testify to the simplicity of extinguishing a fire near fiberglass as opposed to one that spreads into cellulose blown-in insulation. The fire travels further, does more damage, and requires greater cleanup than fiberglass.
Fiberglass batts are perhaps the easiest product to install in a home construction or renovation project. They are manufactured in whatever width and thickness is required, and they simply roll out to install in walls, floors, or ceilings. The end result is a faster, cleaner installation. Blown-in cellulose is touted for its versatility in filling any available space, but it is also messier and much more difficult to move out of the way for future repairs or renovations.
Indoor air quality is a topic that is receiving a lot of attention these days. We are all alert to the dangers of breathing harmful molds, yet many of us unwittingly foster the growth of these dangerous substances by using cellulose insulation. In a plant, cellulose is meant to transport water, so it should come as no surprise that it will also retain moisture when used in your home.
Fiberglass does not absorb moisture, speeding the process of drying up any water that may find its way into your walls, floors, or ceilings. This makes for a drier and healthier environment.
Economizing isn’t just about paying less. It’s about getting more value for your dollar. Fortunately, fiberglass does both for you when you are installing insulation. Apart from all the benefits we’ve already discussed, fiberglass costs less. The result is that you get better performance for less money, and that’s getting the best of both worlds with your insulation dollar.
The process of working in your home is full of decisions. Whether you are building a new home, renovating an existing home, or simply doing some upgrades, you may find yourself overwhelmed at the selection of products available for even the simplest steps in the project. Instead of bogging down on the variety of insulation materials, you can make one decision right at the beginning. Choosing fiberglass for your insulation needs will make your home safer, healthier, and more comfortable than any other product can.