The Art and Science of Construction

Confused About Loose-Fill Insulation? Helpful Information For Homeowners

When the average homeowner thinks of insulation, they often envision rolls of fluffy pink or yellow insulation attached to a craft paper backing. Many may lack experience with other common types, like loose-fill insulation, even though their usage has proved to be reliable and efficient for many decades. 

With both electricity rates and heating fuel prices, many homeowners are becoming increasingly interested in making their homes more efficient, often by beefing up the amount of insulation in the home. Homeowners in this position can use the following information to learn more about loose-fill insulation so they can decide if it would be the best choice for adding insulation to their existing home.  

What is loose-fill insulation?

Similar to other blown-in insulation types like cellulose and rock wool, loose-fill fiberglass insulation does not come in batt or roll forms. Loose-fill insulation begins as glass that is then heated to a liquid state so that it can be spun into fine fibers. 

When blown into wall spaces and attics, the glass fibers settle into lofty masses capable of offering an average thermal value of R-2.5 per inch. As the name suggests, loose-fill insulation is able to settle into gaps, cracks, and uneven areas to provide better coverage than batt or roll insulation types. 

How is loose-fill insulation installed? 

Loose-fill insulation is typically categorized as a blown-in insulation product. Installation of loose fill or any other blown insulation product is performed using a machine called an insulation blower that shoots the loose insulation product in the spaces of the home where more insulation is needed. 

Homeowners can choose to rent or buy the machine and bags of loose-fill insulation at most home improvement stores. Before beginning the installation process with the blowing machine, however, homeowners must make sure they have the tools and materials to prepare the area they plan to insulate. 

Should homeowners perform their own loose-fill insulation installation? 

While the actual process of blowing the insulation is relatively easy to do, homeowners must also be able to handle the additional tasks that must be done to protect themselves and the home, while also providing the desired insulation results. 

For example, homeowners who want to DIY their insulation project will need to install protective metal baffles around flues, metal chimneys, and other sources of heat to ensure that the installation is not allowed to contact the heated surfaces. Baffles will also need to be installed in the eaves of the home. 

Before attempting a DIY installation, homeowners will want to understand how the cost will compare with professional installation. When machine rental, materials, tools, and the cost of their time are added up, homeowners often find that opting for professional loose-fill insulation installation is the most cost-efficient option for their needs.