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Old 12-08-2009, 01:23 PM   #1
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Insulation Comparison ?

I'm evaluating quotes to have insulation blown into all the existing exterior walls of my house and need an objective comparison of the three major infill types of insulation (fiberglass, cellulose & foam) and am having a dickens of a time finding something. The vast majority of charts I've found are created by the various companies and have obvious biases towards one product or the other. The cost difference between loose fill and foam is also pretty substantial (about 50%) so I want to make sure that my money will be spent in the most efficient manner. I am currently leaning towards the blow in fiberglass but can be swayed with good data to either direction.




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Old 12-08-2009, 04:03 PM   #2
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This really depends on the type of wall cavity you have now and what insulation is already in there. Cellulose will settle better into the area than fiber glass. Foam is better insulation but difficult to fill existing exterior voids.


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Old 12-08-2009, 04:07 PM   #3
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walls are 2x4 framing with plaster & lathe on the interior, wood siding covered by aluminum siding on the exterior. house is roughly 90 years old. there is no insulation currently in the wall cavities.
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Old 12-08-2009, 04:49 PM   #4
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I had a similar problem deciding what type of insulation to add to my 1959 house with 2x4 framing and no insulation. After considerable research, I decided to go with blown in cellulose insulation. Foam had a number of issues, including high cost and the potential to overexpand. I eliminated fiberglass because I concluded that cellulose was more likely to fill the cavity completely.

I had cellulose blown in by a contractor. It went quite well, my 1800 square foot, two story house was done in two days. Last year we were unable to get the temperature in the house over 62 degrees in the winter with just the wood stove, this year we routinely achieve 68 degrees, occasionally 70 degrees, with just the wood stove. I also insulated the basement rim joists (myself) using extruded styrofoam blocks, so part of the improvement is due to that project, but still I have been happy with the cellulose result. Of course, fiberglass may have achieved similar results, can't say.
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Old 12-08-2009, 05:56 PM   #5
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One of the most popular forms of Cavity wall insulation here in recent years is polystyrene beads pumped into the cavity and resin bonded.
Mineral fibres have in some cases compressed slightly over the years and left a cold spot at the top of the walls causing condensation.
The beads have also performed well in filling the cavity without any voids.
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Old 12-08-2009, 06:08 PM   #6
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"but can be swayed with good data to either direction. " Cellulose over glass: more R: ----------------------------- fire safer: ---------------- better air sealer: --------------------- in attic:
Be safe, Gary


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