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What You Should Know About Cellulose Insulation

July 09, 2020


Cellulose insulation is a common and effective type of home insulation. It is a versatile product that can be used to great effect in many areas of a home, and provides several improvements for the homeowners. The lifespan of cellulose insulation can be maximized with a professional install, which will help provide you with comfort and energy performance for years to come. 

If you would like to learn more about using cellulose insulation to upgrade your home, please fill out the form below with your contact details. Once you are in touch with our Customer Experience Team, you can also arrange for a free insulation estimate to help you determine your most optimal next steps.

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What is Cellulose Insulation Made of?

Cellulose insulation is made largely of post-consumer recycled content, combined with a treatment to mitigate any potential risks of mould, water, or fire. When installed, it naturally settles into the space it is given. However a professional will take this settling into account and actually use it as an advantage for stronger energy performance. Due to its composition of recycled content, cellulose insulation is more susceptible to water damage than fibreglass blown in insulation. However, so long as there are no existing issues, such as a leaky roof, this should not be a cause for concern.

Where Can Cellulose Insulation be Used?

As a type of blown in insulation, cellulose insulation can be used in both open and closed wall cavities on any floor of a home, including attic insulation. It can also be used just about anywhere that spray foam insulation can be used, no matter how small or hard to reach a spot may be. To combine the benefits of multiple insulation types, cellulose insulation can be combined with spray foam to provide a best of both worlds scenario. A professional installer can help you maximize the benefits of each type of insulation, depending on the specific needs of you and your home. 

Is Cellulose Insulation Blown in Insulation?

Cellulose insulation is a type of blown in insulation. Fibreglass insulation is the other common choice for blown in insulation, each type with their pros and cons. In short, both types have similar R-Values, but using fibreglass for your blown in insulation could be considered a better choice if water damage is a concern or a concurrent problem. This is due to fibreglass blown in insulation’s ability to resist water damage at a stronger rate than cellulose blown in insulation. That said, you should fix any pre-existing issues to installing new insulation.

As blown in insulation, cellulose is able to be installed in nearly every part of a home. Both fibreglass and cellulose blown in insulation can also be combined with spray foam to maximize effectiveness and energy performance benefits.

When installed alongside effective air sealing, professionally installed cellulose insulation is capable of providing you with an assortment of benefits. These benefits include: 

·         An improved level of home energy efficiency

·         A lower cost of utility bills

·         An improved home resale value (homeowners value strong energy efficiency)

·         A greater level of home comfort

·         Fewer drafts and air leaks

·         A more equal and consistent temperature from room to room

·         A more equal and consistent temperature from floor to floor

·         Less stress placed on HVAC systems to maintain a comfortable temperature

Is Cellulose Insulation Dangerous?

You may be wondering if cellulose insulation is dangerous. The short answer is no, cellulose insulation is not dangerous nor does it pose health risks to a home’s inhabitants when professionally installed. In fact, a proper install combined with air sealing will improve the air quality of your home and reduce the risk of sick building syndrome. Since cellulose is made from recycled materials, such as paper, it can be considered a safe type of insulation when handled and installed correctly. If your cellulose insulation is affected by water damage or needs to be replaced due to age, GNI can ensure a safe removal that prioritizes the safety of your family.

How Long Does Cellulose Insulation Last?

The lifespan of cellulose insulation varies depending on several factors, such as how and where it was installed. A professional install is the most surefire way of prolonging the lifespan of your cellulose insulation. Under ideal conditions and with proper installation practices, cellulose insulation can last for many years, providing your home with comfort and strong energy performance for a long time before needing to be replaced or retrofitted. Any potential for water damage should be addressed before cellulose insulation is installed, especially if there is a recurring or consistent issue. This will not only help protect you from mould or mildew related health concerns, but it will also work in favour of maximizing the lifespan of your cellulose insulation. 

As a part of a professional upgrade, any old insulation that is already installed will need to be removed first. To ensure your safety, GNI recommends that you hire a professional for your old insulation removal needs. This will protect you from any potential health hazards that may arise during the removal. 

Is Cellulose Insulation Sustainable?

Cellulose insulation is sustainable insulation, largely because of its post-consumer recycled content, and partly because of its ability to provide strong energy performance for so many years. Another factor that improves the sustainability of cellulose insulation is the phase-out of certain blowing agents, and their replacement with more environmentally sustainable alternatives (HFOs are being used instead of HFCs). Due to the blowing agent changes alone, cellulose blown in insulation that uses HFOs as its blowing agent has significantly lower Global Warming Potential (GWP) than cellulose blown in insulation that relies on HFC blowing agents. 

If you would like to learn more about environmental sustainability for home insulation, or if you have any questions about how cellulose insulation is a sustainable and environmentally friendly option for your home upgrades, please contact our Customer Experience Team. We can be reached toll-free at 1-800-265-1914, through our live chat service on the GNI website, by submitting a form.

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