Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Benefits of Cellulose Insulation for Your Home

To help keep your home at a comfortable temperature, you have heaters and air conditioning systems. The use of these systems contributes to a large portion of your home’s energy use, raising your energy bills. There are a variety of ways that you can help cut down on this particular energy use, such as by turning the system down when you are away and at night. Another excellent way to reduce energy costs is to ensure your home meets the recommended insulation values. Insulation values can vary by material type. Common types of insulation include fiberglass, spray foam, cotton, and cellulose. What are the benefits of choosing cellulose insulation in San Jose? 

Importance of R-Values

The effectiveness of insulation is measured by R-values, which are the insulation’s ability to resist heat flow. The higher the R-value, the better the insulation prevents warm air from moving in or out of your home. The appropriate R-value for your home depends upon your location, the space you are insulating, and the age of your home. For example, in the San Jose, CA, area, an R-value of R-30 to R-60 is recommended for the attic, R-25 for flooring, and R-13 to R-15 for wall spaces. If you have an older home, you would most likely need an R-value closer to R-60, whereas a newer home will usually be fine with an R-value closer to R-30. Cellulose insulation tends to have a higher R-value for increased heat-flow resistance. 

Benefits of Cellulose

Cellulose is composed of paper materials that are generally recycled. In fact, most cellulose insulations contain as much as 75% of recycled material on average. The material is treated with a chemical fire retardant that is safe for humans but helps to repel rodents, insects, and mold. While fiberglass has shown tendencies to irritate skin, throats, lungs, and eyes with exposure, cellulose has not shown any negative health effects for people. The cellulose material is blown into the space, helping to provide more coverage in odd shapes and around obstacles such as wiring and ducts for an increased R-value. This also allows cellulose to be easily applied to existing walls with minimal damage.

Cellulose insulation keeps its R-value despite temperature changes, but will be affected by moisture. Because it tends to retain moisture, it may be best to install other insulation materials in areas prone to moisture, such as basements and crawlspaces. While it is possible to rent equipment to apply cellulose yourself, professional installation is still recommended. Proper installation of cellulose insulation in San Jose can help to prevent settling. 


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