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While fiber batting can be a good solution to insulation needs in a new house where the walls have not yet been enclosed, it can pose a problem for finished homes needing insulation. That’s where blown-in insulation can be the answer, insulating even drywalled exterior walls for better heating and cooling efficiency.
Blown-in insulation can be quickly added to walls and in attics, creating a barrier between inside comfort and outside weather. Blown-in insulation can also fill unusual spaces and create a blanket around exterior-wall pipes and conduit. Installation of blown-in insulation is easy and efficient, making it a cost-effective way to insulate your building. Small holes are drilled in each space between studs and material blown in via a thin, flexible hose. The holes are then plugged to match the siding.
Attics are another good place for blown-in insulation. The International Energy Conservation Code suggests attics should be insulated to an R-rating of 38. Blown-in insulation can be layered until the desired R-value is reached. There are three types of blown-in insulation, and any can effectively achieve that goal.
This is the most common type of blown-in insulation used today, and the most economical. Made from recycled newspaper and plant fibers and treated to resist fire and mold, it is also a great sound barrier. Cellulose insulation has an R-value of 3.7, meaning 5 inches would be needed to equal the 19 R-value of fiberglass batting. One disadvantage is that should it get wet it could compact and possibly become moldy.
This mid-cost insulation is made of fibers spun of sand and glass and offers an R-value of about 2.5 per inch of filling. About 7 inches of fiberglass filling would be needed to match the R-value of fiberglass batting.
Rock Wool (Mineral Wool)
Made from blast furnace slag spun into a wool-like texture, this blown-in insulation has a medium R-value of 3.3 but it is also the most costly of the three types. It’s main advantage is for structures needing to conform with fire codes, as it is the most fire resistant of the three types.
Homeowners should be aware that this type of insulation does tend to settle after a while, and slight leaks might occur, especially in walls at the top of spaces between studs. McCoy Foam’s experts will be happy to discuss your insulation needs, suggesting the right product and installation for you.