5 Myths About Blown in Insulation
There are many misconceptions and rumours in the home improvement industry about the efficacy of blown in insulation in your home. Like any false impressions, these prevalent ideas about it prevent it from being as popular as other types of insulation - even when it downright outperforms the competition. If you’re looking to add insulation to your home, don’t listen to the myths! At EcoStar Insulation we’re huge fans of this type of insulation and often recommend it to our customers, regardless of the size or scope of their renovation projects. Today we’re going to do a bit of myth-busting - and show you just how good it can be for your home.
What Is Blown in Insulation?
To start with, this is a product that has been on the market for decades and helps bring better climate control, energy savings, and sound dampening qualities to any home it’s installed in. It is generally installed in one of two materials: cellulose or fibreglass. Both materials provide effective thermal insulation for a cost effective price tag, and are excellent choices for the attic, exterior walls, or basements (among other places!).
It’s also is a hugely popular product with clients who are looking for environmentally friendly options for their home. It is made from up to 85% post consumer recycled paper waste, which helps to divert materials from the landfill and cuts out harmful chemicals or synthetic processes. The other benefit of cellulose insulation is that it’s mold and critter resistant - it’s treated with the natural chemical boric acid, which helps to keep it from igniting and makes it inhospitable to creepy crawlies.
Fibreglass blown in insulation is made from spun glass - it’s similar to the big pink fluffy batts of insulation you may be more familiar with. Fibreglass settles less than cellulose insulation and provides many of the same benefits and R values.
We think that it is overall a very practical choice for the average homeowner for a number of reasons, but the most important two are that it can be installed quickly and with little disruption to your schedule. It’s also cost effective in the short and long term.
Top 5 Myths
Blown in Insulation is only for cold weather: FALSE
The myth that it’s only for the colder months of the year ends up hurting you all year round. We often use the hat analogy to explain insulation: in the winter months, a toque keeps your head warm, helping to trap heat in - but in the summer, hats are just as important for keeping the heat off your head, to keep your body cool. Insulation (especially attic insulation) works in the same way, and helps to prevent heat transfer in or out of your home, regardless of the time of year.
2. Blown in insulation causes house fires: FALSE
It has had some bad press about its susceptibility to fire - but the good news is that professionally installed cellulose insulation can actually help prevent and slow fires. Stringent testing done by the National Fire Laboratory at the National Research Council of Canada found that cellulose insulation consistently outperformed fibreglass and no insulation in simulated home tests, increasing the fire resistance of the walls by up to 78%! The key to cellulose’s fire resistance is in its make-up and boric acid treatment - the density of cellulose blown in insulation provides little to no oxygen for the fire to grow or spread, and the boric acid also works as a fire retardant and smolder suppressant. These qualities not only make it a safe choice for your home, but could mean the difference between life and death in the event of an out of control house fire.
3. High R Values are the most important feature of blown in insulation: FALSE
R Value is often made out to be the most important part of an insulation product, but it’s not - the highest R Value in the world won’t be a bit of use unless it’s installed properly, which means sealed against moisture and air infiltration. R Value is a term used in the industry to measure a given insulation’s capability to prevent heat transfer. The higher the number, the better a material is at preventing heat from moving in or out of your home. Before any insulation installation, ask your contractor how they will ensure that air leakage, moisture, and ventilation issues are all addressed.
4. Blown in insulation is only for walls: FALSE
The answer to this question is easy to find - just scroll through the EcoStar blog to find plenty of reasons why it isn’t only for walls but is one of the best things you can do for your attic and whole home! It is one of the best renovations that you can do to help save energy costs throughout your home. Besides the attic, flooring, basements, basement headings, and crawl spaces are all great places to put a little extra insulation.
5. Blown in insulation isn’t for old homes: FALSE
Old homes, especially century homes, are one of the best places to add insulation as they were often poorly insulated in the first place. But, regardless of the age of your home, insulation can be added almost everywhere - including behind plaster lathe walls. Because it’s blown in and not laid in (like batt-style insulation), only small holes or entrances are needed to install it around your home - resulting in less fuss, mess, and faster installation times.
Blown in Insulation is a Great Renovation
Adding new products to your home can be confusing - especially when it comes to the myths surrounding it. At EcoStar Insulation, our team of home insulation experts are happy to demystify and explain any part of the insulation process from R Value to type of insulation, working with you to help you make the best choice for your home. When it comes to blown in insulation, our experience has shown it’s a safe, reliable product that will work well in all parts of your home - regardless of age. Visit our services page at https://www.ecostarinsulation.ca/insulation-services-toronto/blown-in-insulation/ for more information about what we can do for your home.