Fiberglass Insulation - Is The Conventional Insulation Worth It?

Fiberglass Insulation - Is The Conventional Insulation Worth It?

Posted by Ecostar Insulation on September 20, 2021

Widely used as a residential and commercial thermal insulator, fiberglass insulation is one of the most employed insulation methods, at least in the Greater Toronto Area and the suburban communities. It significantly improves house comfort, has a low installation cost, lowers your monthly electric bills, and is relatively easy to install. It is used in attics, rim joists, crawl space, and open walls. 

 

Hello to another article from EcoStar Insulation Company! During the years, we have established ourselves as experts in commercial and residential insulation. Our team uses conventional insulation methods (fiberglass and cellulose) as we do use spray foam insulation as well.

 

As part of our efforts to help homeowners make informed decisions about their insulation needs, today we will take a look at fiberglass insulation, its properties, the benefits, and alternative methods. Those and more, after learning how it was invented.

Discovered by Accident...

Born in Newark, Ohio, Dale Kleist is attributed the invention of fiberglass material in 1932. He refined his invention and trademarked it in 1938 as Fiberglas®. It was subsequently widely used in the clothing industry, in the making of automobile bodies, boat hulls, fishing rods, and eventually to this day is still employed in the building insulation industry.

 

However, you would be surprised to learn that fiberglass insulation was invented by accident. Mr. Kleist was at the time working in creating a vacuum-tight seal between two glass blocks when suddenly a jet of air turned molten glass into fine fibers. Unintentionally, a working method to create large amounts of fiberglass particles was discovered. And after some history lessons nobody asked for, below you will see the two forms of fiberglass insulation. 

Loose Fill Insulation and Fiberglass Batts

Fiberglass insulation can be installed in different areas of the building envelope. Depending on the manufacturer, fiberglass insulation material can be yellow, pink, or green and has a spongy feel. It is most commonly found in blanket form (batts) that come in standard pre-cut widths and lengths. It may also come as loose fill that can be blown into walls, floor cavities, and attic. Batts are available in different thickness, with the thicker batts offering a higher R-Value, thus, having a higher resistance to heat flow. 


 

What Fiberglass Insulation has to Offer?

Improves Energy Efficiency 

Although not the best, fiberglass insulation lowers your monthly energy bills, and that matters. From basement to attic, the material can seal all gaps and cracks on your walls and create a thermal barrier that makes economic sense. You can expect a decrease in utility bills by up to 20%, at least. 

Budget-Friendly

The popularity of fiberglass insulation is highly connected with its affordability. While some spray foam insulation might be cost-depriving, fiberglass seems more relevant at the moment. And you still can enjoy many of the same perks as other insulation methods.

Noncombustible Material 

Fiberglass insulation is made of components that, by nature, are designated as noncombustible materials and it remains so during its lifecycle. It requires no additional treatment with fire retardant chemicals. 

Eco-Friendly 

If you’re seeking green and sustainable insulation methods, here you have it. Fiberglass is an environmentally friendly material made of glass (glass is made of sand) and the energy required to produce the product is significantly low. 

Improves Air Quality Indoors

By reducing mold and mildew growth, fiberglass insulation can help keep a healthy living, working, or storage space. It increases indoor air quality and prevents the development of respiratory complications.

Reduces Noise

Noisy neighbors or a train passing by every once in a while? Fiberglass insulation can be a solution. Thanks to its sound-dampening properties, you can say goodbye to caustic pollution. The material can reduce noises coming from outside of the house, and those from rooms and in between levels. 



 

Comparing Insulation Methods - Spray Foam vs Cellulose vs Fiberglass Insulation

 

Properties

Fiberglass

Cellulose 

Spray Foam

R-Value

From R-2.9 to R-3.8  

From R-3.1 to R-3.8  

From R-3.6 to R-7.1  

Energy Savings

$$                           

$$$                         

$$$$$                    

Lifespan

30 up to 50 years

30 up to 50 years

100 years +

Sound Absorption  

Yes 

Yes 

Yes 

Home Comfort

✓✓

✓✓✓

✓✓✓✓✓

Install Method

DIY/ Professional  

DIY/ Professional  

Professional

Fire Rating

Class 1

Class 1

Class 1

Cost

$$

$$$

$$$$$

Maintenance

Bi-Annually 

Bi-Annually

None

 

As you can understand, the differences between the conventional insulation methods (fiberglass and cellulose) with spray foam, are significant and easy to tell. And yes, the initial spray foam insulation cost is relatively higher, but so is the improvement of house comfort.

 

And not to forget about monthly savings in energy bills. When installed from basement to attic, spray foam can decrease electric bills by up to 40%. On the other hand, we have fiberglass and cellulose. They also serve as great insulators and they will most definitely improve your house’s energy efficiency. 

 

They cost less and also deliver other important qualities like sound absorption and resistance to pests, rodents & mold. In addition, cellulose and fiberglass (same as spray foam) also serve as great ignition barriers. In the case of cellulose, it is treated with flame retardant chemicals to lower the chances of stimulating fire when unfortunately exposed to sufficient heat sources. As for fiberglass, by nature, the material is considered noncombustible and is accepted as a fire block in wood frames. 

 

The only issue with fiberglass insulation is deterioration. When insulated poorly, by inexperienced insulators, the material may sag or settle. It is a big problem as maintaining a deteriorated insulation system will cost you twice or triple the money you spent in the first place. 

 

Why EcoStar?

EcoStar Insulation Company has been serving the GTA and the suburban communities with insulation products and services of the highest quality since 2008. Whether it be fiberglass, cellulose, or spray foam insulation, our team of professionals will help turn your idea into an energy-saving solution that makes economic sense. Simply let us know when you are ready to get started! Contact us to get an estimate!

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