Cellulose Insulation From Recycled Newspaper
Cellulose insulation is our insulation of choice: it’s recycled, made of natural fibers, cost effective, and insulates well. Cellulose is almost always the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly insulation solution. Cellulose is a loose insulation that looks gray and fluffy. It is most commonly used blown into attics to provide total seamless coverage of the area. For open walls and new construction, it can be wet-sprayed into the wall cavities with a little moisture to keep the dust to a minimum and to prevent settling. It can be blown into closed walls and ceilings with a technique called Drill and Fill.
Richmond Wall Insulation Project
They did a very thorough energy audit, and gave me options for upgrading insulation in walls and attic, replace furnace and ducting, sealing every crack under the house, and adding a foil vapor barrier under subfloor. The staff at Advanced Home Energy were professional in every way. They respected my schedule, worked without disrupting my life, did a meticulous job, and cleaned up after themselves every day. They were a congenial bunch. Very thorough. I have zero complaints.
Vicki in Richmond, CA
Environmental Benefits of Cellulose Insulation
- Cellulose is composed of 85% post-consumer papers (newspapers, yellow pages, etc) with a 15% borate additive.
- Compare to: Fiberglass insulation is 40% recycled content at most. Spray foam has virtually no recycled material.
- Cellulose insulation takes less energy to make than any other insulation material. Fiberglass takes 10 time more energy to manufacture than cellulose. Spray foam takes up to 64 times more energy.
The borate that is added to the cellulose acts as an effective fire-retardant. Studies have shown that a house with cellulose insulation in the walls will withstand a house fire much better than a house without insulation. We did our own experiment and tried lighting the cellulose with a blow-torch; as promised the cellulose charred but did not catch fire.
Rodent & Mold Prevention
Borate also acts to inhibit mold and repel rodents. Unlike fiberglass, which rodents love to use for nests, rodents will not borrow through cellulose.
Cellulose blown into an attic is fluffy and has air pockets that slow the movement of heat. Wall insulation is installed very differently so that it has a high density, completely fills the bay and does not settle. This technique is called “dense-pack” wall insulation because of the way cellulose is blown in.
In addition to providing excellent thermal protection, dense-pack wall insulation provides significant noise reduction. In fact, cellulose is approximately three times denser than fiberglass and can deaden the sound through walls and between floor levels.