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Cellulose Insulation vs. Foam Insulation

Published on November 08, 2018

The arena is noisy, full of cheering fans ready for the big fight when the lights dim…. And out come our two main contenders: cellulose insulation vs. foam insulation! Ok - while there are no boxing matches happening with any regularity between insulation types, it can sometimes seem like there are two very opinionated sets of fans cheering for their pick. Before you place your bet on either cellulose insulation or foam insulation, knowing your odds can help you make the right decision for your home. At EcoComfort, our money is always on cellulose insulation - not only does it truly stand out as a long-term winner, but it helps improve your home’s energy efficiency, indoor comfort, and air quality.

What is Cellulose Insulation?

This lightweight insulation product packs a heavyweight punch when it comes to insulating your home. Cellulose insulation is a fibrous insulation material made from recycled paper products, often containing up to 85% recycled content. This makes cellulose insulation a great option for folks looking to make their home more eco friendly, since it diverts materials otherwise destined for the landfill (where they may contribute to greenhouse gasses) and instead gives them new life in your home, where they help prevent energy loss and decrease our reliance on electricity and other energy sources.

Cellulose insulation has been safely used for decades in homes around the country, and is treated with a natural mineral called borax, which works as a fire retardant as well as resisting mold and pests.

What is Spray Foam Insulation?

Our opponent in the ring is spray foam insulation. Spray foam has many proponents and can be used efficiently in many different applications. But when it comes to insulating the big parts of your home (like exterior walls or attics), the EcoComfort team isn’t the biggest fan. Spray foam insulation requires careful application and ideal work conditions to ensure complete coverage - in practical terms, this might mean a wide open attic or bare exterior walls. This can result in a lot of extra labour and cost for homeowners. For those who are interested in choosing green products for their home, spray foam is made from plastic materials that will never biodegrade and can potentially off-gas harmful chemicals.

Why is Cellulose Insulation the Best Insulation?

The strengths that cellulose insulation brings to any home improvement project make it an outstanding choice for Ontario homes. Our 100% confidence in our products and services stems from a long standing relationship with cellulose insulation, as well as decades of third party research, science, and the experience of our staff. Some of the reasons we know that cellulose insulation is the best insulation are:

Cellulose uses more recycled materials than any other commercial insulation product:  The environment is important to us - it’s even part of our company name! Environmental sustainability is one of the major reasons we recommend cellulose insulation, since it’s a way of hitting all three Rs - Reducing the need to create a new product from scratch, Reusing newspapers and other paper waste, and Recycling that waste by keeping it from the landfill.

Cellulose insulation uses no aerosols, gasolines or other propellants during installation or in its creation - another reason it’s a greener option.

It’s flexible: Unlike other insulation materials, cellulose insulation is made up of many small pieces that are flexible and will fit around and settle into spaces that traditional insulation might struggle with, ensuring you have better coverage.

It’s an inexpensive option: Budgets have limits, which is why cellulose insulation often makes a great fit, since it’s inexpensive to have installed in your home but still brings great improvements in energy efficiency and has long term performance.

Mold and pest resistance: When  it comes to insulating the attic, mold and pests can be a big concern for homeowners - but the good news is that cellulose insulation helps to reduce the instances of these common problems. Cellulose’s treatment with boric acid (a safe home cleaning product) keeps it safe from mold growth or insect invasions, as well as being…

Fire resistant: Cellulose sometimes gets a bad rap when it comes to fire, but this reputation is ill-founded and has no relation to modern day cellulose insulation products. During a simulated fire test a building insulated with cellulose failed 25 minutes after two identical structures did (one uninsulated, the other insulated with fibreglass). In a house fire, that 25 minutes could mean life or death.

Cellulose Insulation is Eco Friendly

If you can’t already tell, environmental friendliness is a big concern at EcoComfort Insulation - it’s a key part of our business decisions and the reason we work with the products we do. Cellulose insulation checks all the boxes for us - the fact that it’s made from recycled paper, that it requires no plastics, that it won’t off-gas VOCs, and that it’s treated only with natural, safe chemical retardants are as important to us as they are to you. Just because it’s better for the environment doesn’t mean it’s less efficient or can’t deliver - cellulose insulation is a superb product that can be used to increase your energy efficiency, top up an underperforming attic, and save you money every month on your household bills.

Cellulose Insulation Process

There are two types of formulations that cellulose insulation can come in - dense pack or loose fill. At EcoComfort Insulation, we love using both kinds of insulation depending on where they’re best suited. One of the major bonuses of choosing loose fill cellulose is that it can easily be blown into wall cavities through small holes, which brings you all the benefits of insulation without the mess and cost usually associated with this process.

How EcoComfort Can Help

As experts in the field, EcoComfort suggests placing your money on cellulose insulation when it comes to improving your home. Our recommendation comes from years of experience working on residential projects and experience with a wide range of products - as a part of your community, we take great care in only recommending products or services that are safe for our families and neighbourhoods. We’d be happy to answer any questions or concerns about how cellulose insulation might fit in your home by phone or email - get in touch at 416-333-4554 or https://www.ecocomfortinsulators.ca/contact.

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