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Old 02-12-2013, 07:24 PM   #1
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F.G. or cellulose


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Originally Posted by HomeSealed View Post
it is cheaper, and more dense. FG has some major marketing $$$ behind it, and is only getting more expensive as its market share is eaten away by cellulose and spray foam.
Um how is it cheaper? cellulose that is? While R-value "per inch" is promoted by some manufacturers, the overall R-value installed is what counts. Fiber glass insulation products come in R-values ranging from R-11 to R-38 for fiber glass batts and rolls. Fiber glass insulation can be blown in an attic to nearly any R-value. More R-value alternatives provide greater flexibility in meeting code energy requirements. Also, In contrast, cellulose insulation not only settles to a much greater degree (approximately 20%), but also at a significantly higher rate. If cellulose insulation is being considered, make sure the installer understands that most cellulose insulations settle in attic loose fill applications - that's a significant loss of insulating effectiveness. In fact, the Insulation Contractors Association of America recommends that an additional 25% of thickness be added for cellulose insulation to compensate for this extreme loss of R-value.
also it is not as green as people say it is.
The environmental benefits of fiber glass insulation, however, go far beyond its recycled content when analyzed from a life-cycle perspective. A life-cycle analysis is an appraisal of the environmental impacts connected with a product through an examination of the product's environmental traits during many stages including pre-manufacturing; manufacturing; distribution/packaging; use, reuse, maintenance; and waste management. In reviewing each of these stages, a life-cycle evaluation of fiber glass clearly shows its environmentally beneficial attributes. As an example, consider fiber glass versus cellulose insulation.

Cellulose manufacturers claim environmental benefits, even though they may be removing newsprint from an existing recycling loop. More trees must be cut and more energy used to make new newsprint and cardboard to make up for what has been used for cellulose insulation. And when it comes to insulating the same size home, pound for pound, it takes up to three times more cellulose than fiber glass to achieve the same insulating efficiency. Both insulations use the same amount of virgin material but the virgin material in fiber glass is sand - which is classified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a "rapidly renewable resource."
Just my two cents worth on what I think. Just to point out both will do the job just that one needs to look at the whole thing to know both sides .

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Old 02-12-2013, 11:44 PM   #2
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F.G. or cellulose


Nailbag, your bias is showing through . Cheaper: yes. I don't care how many bundles/packages/lbs are used, please show me an insulation contractor that charges less for FG for the same R-value at the end of the day. You can't because FG costs more. PERIOD. In addition:
-Regardless of material, professionals figure the needed depth in anticipation of settling. Moot point.
- when newspapers begin their renaissance and newsprint enjoys a high demand, please let us know. I'm quite sure that the laws of basic economics will make FG cheaper should that day ever come.


As I stated earlier, both materials can be used effectively, but please lets be honest about the pros and cons of each.

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Old 02-13-2013, 02:54 AM   #3
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F.G. or cellulose


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Nailbag, your bias is showing through . Cheaper: yes. I don't care how many bundles/packages/lbs are used, please show me an insulation contractor that charges less for FG for the same R-value at the end of the day. You can't because FG costs more. PERIOD. In addition:
-Regardless of material, professionals figure the needed depth in anticipation of settling. Moot point.
- when newspapers begin their renaissance and newsprint enjoys a high demand, please let us know. I'm quite sure that the laws of basic economics will make FG cheaper should that day ever come.

I'm sorry, but you either have just enough education to be harmful to yourself and others, or you are a schill for the FG industry, perhaps because you are a "blow and go" contractor.
As I stated earlier, both materials can be used effectively, but please lets be honest about the pros and cons of each.
I am being honest and it is not just news print that is wasted to insulate a home it is card board and card stock and news print can be made in to regular paper. It is taking out the 2.3 million tons of pulp from the recycle loop that cause it not to be a green product. As for effective you bet it is R-value is R value you just have to use more of one to obtain the Over all R value of a 1,000 sqf attic will have 2,059 pounds of shreaded paper in it for a R-60 and have used 108 bags min to achive that. going price for the DYI'er is 11.35 a bag x that by 108 = 1,225.80 plus tax. For FG I will have used 32 bags min of insulation for a R-60, weighing in at 910 pounds over all. To be fair it cost the DYI'er 32.75 a bag for 32 bags = 1,040.00 plus tax giving the coustomer a savings of 177.80 less matterial same R value and less static load in the attic. Yet both do the same job. meaning You use less to get more for the same thing. I used the number from Home Depot they sell both products. and the information on how much to use is from green fiber's web site and owens cornings web site not made up numbers. One more thing Yes installer use 25% more cellulose to offset settling FG settling is 0.01% over all hence you use less. Pound for pound you save more by using less.

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Old 02-13-2013, 07:53 AM   #4
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F.G. or cellulose


Bad math.
To achieve the same R-value, blown cellulose costs than blown fg less, period. That is inarguable.
Your "life cycle" contentions are on the fringe as well, and I suspect that most if not all of the research that you are citing was funded by FG manufacturers.

Ultimately, folks can choose whichever material they would like, because at the end of the day, they both do the job. I'm just here sharing my professional experience as someone whose company installs these products on a regular basis. I honestly have no real preference either way. In fact, the day that fiberglass becomes cheaper and more effective, I'm sure that I will sell/install more of it as my customers will demand it... Unfortunately for the reasons that I mentioned above, I don't foresee that day coming...ever.
That's all I have to say on that.
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Old 02-13-2013, 12:00 PM   #5
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F.G. or cellulose


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Bad math.
To achieve the same R-value, blown cellulose costs than blown fg less, period. That is inarguable.
Your "life cycle" contentions are on the fringe as well, and I suspect that most if not all of the research that you are citing was funded by FG manufacturers.

Ultimately, folks can choose whichever material they would like, because at the end of the day, they both do the job. I'm just here sharing my professional experience as someone whose company installs these products on a regular basis. I honestly have no real preference either way. In fact, the day that fiberglass becomes cheaper and more effective, I'm sure that I will sell/install more of it as my customers will demand it... Unfortunately for the reasons that I mentioned above, I don't foresee that day coming...ever.
That's all I have to say on that.
The numbers don't lie, I just showed you the break down. and I done my own investigaition I don't work for any insulation company I have no skin in the game. were as you do. 108 bags vs 32 hmm 9 sq feet per bag vs 31 sq feet per bag hmm these are green fiber numbers. But I agree both do the job at the end of the day. let the costomer decide.
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Old 02-13-2013, 12:48 PM   #6
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F.G. or cellulose


My "skin in the game", does not give me any bias one way or the other. I will install either material, but most folks choose cellulose because it is cheaper and does as good or better job. If your "numbers" don't reflect that, then they inaccurate as pretty much any insulation contractor or diy'er that has shopped the two materials will vouch for 1000 to 1. Just do your math with the prices quoted by the OP... The funny thing is, the price difference really isn't all that big anyway. This whole debate is much ado about nothing.

@Amithbh, you can go either way. Stuffing some batting in there usually ends up being easier though. If you have the space, it would be wise to air-seal those exterior top plates while you are in there.
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Old 02-14-2013, 12:30 AM   #7
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F.G. or cellulose


I started your own thread rather than go off topic in the other as we didn't even know what type insulation was in his attic.

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Old 02-14-2013, 11:15 AM   #8
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F.G. or cellulose


My professional opinions:

If strictly factoring initial price the optimal order is:

1) Fiberglass
2) Cellulose
3) Spray Foam

If factoring in lifetime cost/performance/health the optimal order is:

1) Cellulose
2) Fiberglass
3) Spray Foam

I find spray foam to a horendous product when used as a stud filler. The methods of construction that I'd consider advantageous for spray foam aren't even on the radar of most installers. It's deadly when burned, it costs more to install, and costs even more to remove it making future renovations an absolute nightmare both financially and physically.
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Old 02-15-2013, 02:34 AM   #9
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F.G. or cellulose


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Originally Posted by HomeSealed View Post
Bad math.


. In fact, the day that fiberglass becomes cheaper and more effective, I'm sure that I will sell/install more of it as my customers will demand it... Unfortunately for the reasons that I mentioned above, I don't foresee that day coming...ever.
That's all I have to say on that.
Um ever hear of the law of supply and demand? if the demand for cellulose is so high the price would reflect it. if the demand for FG was so low the price would reflect it. when demand is low and the supply is high the price becomes low to move inventory and keep capital moving in. if the demand is high and the supply is low the price reflects the demand. so by the laws of economy cellulose is not that much in demand. pure fact. and the demand for FG is high.
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Old 02-15-2013, 09:21 AM   #10
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F.G. or cellulose


Not to stir the pot and i do find this site incredible valuable, but the demand/supply equilibrium doesn't equate to quality. Just because people demand it doesn't necessarily infer that its better and vice versa. Just look to Walmart as an example, demand is high, products are cheap and quality is sub-par.

Elasticity could be argued as a better measure of quality. If the price were to change (ie. increase), would the consumer choose the same higher priced product or choose the cheaper solution. That to me implies a form of quality.

but my two cents, but what do i know! i just a consumer of goods.

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Old 02-15-2013, 10:20 AM   #11
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F.G. or cellulose


Rather than all of the patchwork, here is my more comprehensive view on the subject:

Background: My company sells and installs insulation and weatherization products. We purchase and work with these products on a daily basis. We work with various state and local energy efficiency programs, and have a BPI certified energy consultant on staff... Don't mean to advertise here, just establishing where I'm coming from on this.

Price: I pay less(and charge less) to install blown cellulose than blown fiberglass. I purchase these products wholesale so the pricing may be different to a retail DIY'er, but the overwhelming sentiment that I hear and see is that retail pricing is consistent with that: Cellulose is slightly cheaper in a "blown-in" attic application. Other projects such as new construction, walls, etc could be a different story. Our business is primarily retrofit in existing homes, but I would venture to guess that fiberglass batting is probably cheaper to insulate new construction than a cellulose BIB system or something along those lines.

Performance: Both get the job done. There are some aspects of cellulose that I prefer including versatility (same product can be blown, dense packed, etc), it offers more resistance to airflow, and my installers say that it is more pleasant to work with . We install blown fiberglass upon request or in circumstances where it makes more sense such as going over existing Fg, but all things equal I choose cellulose.
The home performance community including insulation professionals, energy consultants, etc overwhelming prefer cellulose. Most roofing contractors etc, like fiberglass. This is speculation on my part, but my thought as to their reasoning is that selling an Owens Corning roof AND insulation system is very compelling, and makes a nice package. The builder supply houses also carry and promote that product, while cellulose typically is only available at specialty insulation suppliers (other than the box stores of course).

Health/Safety/"Green factor": There are reports on both sides showing that each one is healthier, safer, and "greener", so it is really impossible to say for certain. There are some things that each is slightly better at as well, but in the end, they are not too far off. My own personal preference is again for cellulose. It has a higher content of recycled material, takes less energy to make, and IMO is the lesser of the two evils in terms of health hazards.

The following is a summary of an extensive Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) report. The NRDC is a non-profit environmental membership organization with over 300,000 members and contributors nationwide:
The NRDC has concluded the following:
 Cellulose insulation manufactured from recycled paper is the least polluting and most energy efficient insulation.
 Cellulose has the highest post-consumer recycled content. The fiberglass industry averages 35% recycled glass, while the cellulose industry averages a minimum of 75% recycled content.
 It takes more than 10 x’s as much energy to produce fiberglass insulation as cellulose insulation.
 Due to air circulation and natural convection, the R-value of blown-in fiberglass insulation decreases by as much as 50% as the temperature drops from 45 degrees F to 18 degrees F.
 Cellulose has better resistance to air flow and prevents the upward movement of air caused by temperature differences (the R-value of cellulose actually improves during cold weather).
 Substantial and well-documented public health threats are associated with fiberglass.
 No adverse health effects from cellulose insulation have been identified.


Summary: Anyone researching the topic will notice in less than 5 minutes that each side has more studies and conflicting info than one could ever read. In the end, each product has minor pros and cons, and both do the job effectively.
If you are a consumer reading this: STOP STRESSING OVER IT! Just get it done, and make sure that you air seal as well!
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Old 02-16-2013, 02:24 AM   #12
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F.G. or cellulose


Quote:
Originally Posted by HomeSealed View Post
Rather than all of the patchwork, here is my more comprehensive view on the subject:

Background: My company sells and installs insulation and weatherization products. We purchase and work with these products on a daily basis. We work with various state and local energy efficiency programs, and have a BPI certified energy consultant on staff... Don't mean to advertise here, just establishing where I'm coming from on this.

Price: I pay less(and charge less) to install blown cellulose than blown fiberglass. I purchase these products wholesale so the pricing may be different to a retail DIY'er, but the overwhelming sentiment that I hear and see is that retail pricing is consistent with that: Cellulose is slightly cheaper in a "blown-in" attic application. Other projects such as new construction, walls, etc could be a different story. Our business is primarily retrofit in existing homes, but I would venture to guess that fiberglass batting is probably cheaper to insulate new construction than a cellulose BIB system or something along those lines.

Performance: Both get the job done. There are some aspects of cellulose that I prefer including versatility (same product can be blown, dense packed, etc), it offers more resistance to airflow, and my installers say that it is more pleasant to work with . We install blown fiberglass upon request or in circumstances where it makes more sense such as going over existing Fg, but all things equal I choose cellulose.
The home performance community including insulation professionals, energy consultants, etc overwhelming prefer cellulose. Most roofing contractors etc, like fiberglass. This is speculation on my part, but my thought as to their reasoning is that selling an Owens Corning roof AND insulation system is very compelling, and makes a nice package. The builder supply houses also carry and promote that product, while cellulose typically is only available at specialty insulation suppliers (other than the box stores of course).

Health/Safety/"Green factor": There are reports on both sides showing that each one is healthier, safer, and "greener", so it is really impossible to say for certain. There are some things that each is slightly better at as well, but in the end, they are not too far off. My own personal preference is again for cellulose. It has a higher content of recycled material, takes less energy to make, and IMO is the lesser of the two evils in terms of health hazards.

The following is a summary of an extensive Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) report. The NRDC is a non-profit environmental membership organization with over 300,000 members and contributors nationwide:
The NRDC has concluded the following:
 Cellulose insulation manufactured from recycled paper is the least polluting and most energy efficient insulation.
 Cellulose has the highest post-consumer recycled content. The fiberglass industry averages 35% recycled glass, while the cellulose industry averages a minimum of 75% recycled content.
 It takes more than 10 xs as much energy to produce fiberglass insulation as cellulose insulation.
 Due to air circulation and natural convection, the R-value of blown-in fiberglass insulation decreases by as much as 50% as the temperature drops from 45 degrees F to 18 degrees F.
 Cellulose has better resistance to air flow and prevents the upward movement of air caused by temperature differences (the R-value of cellulose actually improves during cold weather).
 Substantial and well-documented public health threats are associated with fiberglass.
 No adverse health effects from cellulose insulation have been identified.


Summary: Anyone researching the topic will notice in less than 5 minutes that each side has more studies and conflicting info than one could ever read. In the end, each product has minor pros and cons, and both do the job effectively.
If you are a consumer reading this: STOP STRESSING OVER IT! Just get it done, and make sure that you air seal as well!
Um let me point out yes Fiberglass does lose its R value by 50% at -40 F Minus 40 not 40 so that is false. not many places in the lower 48 gets below minus 40f.
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Old 02-16-2013, 02:02 PM   #13
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F.G. or cellulose


But plenty of places north of the 48th do. They are the ones that would need it the most too. Since the op is only a couple hours south of the 48th, and while I'm certain he doesn't see anything colder then -30, you have probably cleared up any confusion.

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Old 02-16-2013, 04:12 PM   #14
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F.G. or cellulose


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 Due to air circulation and natural convection, the R-value of blown-in fiberglass insulation decreases by as much as 50% as the temperature drops from 45 degrees F to 18 degrees
I don't see anyone claiming that it loses half it's r value at 40*. It cites a 50% dip between 45 and 18*.
Either way, the more relevant point IMO, is that the material loses measurable r value as the temps go down.

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