How is blown in insulation installed?

blown in insulation in attic

With blown in insulation, is it safe?

After last summer and this past winter, and the outrageous electric bills that came from keeping the building comfortable, you’ve decided your property needs new insulation. Last time, you and some buddies did it, rolling it out and securing it, as you itched and scratched. That was a long time ago. Since then, blown in insulation has come out, and it is a significant change!

An enormous part of your energy expenses are cooling and heating, and much of it goes up through the roof. That is where blown in insulation, or any type of insulation comes into play. It reduces the energy needed to keep your property comfortable, which reduces energy costs too.

They make most insulation for buildings from fiberglass, including blown in insulation, which is made from plastic filaments that are fortified with recycled glass which has been spun into fibers. It is the glass content that slows the spread of the cold, heat, and sound, reduces energy costs by as much as forty percent. It is also moisture-resistant, resisting fungus and mold.

Yes, when fiberglass blown in insulation is installed properly, it is perfectly safe. If you are installing it yourself, there are precautions you must take when handling it. Such as long pants, long sleeve shirts, gloves, goggles, and a respirator mask.  

When fiberglass insulation is disturbed or moved, tiny particles release into the air and when they can get in the skin pores and cause irritation, itching, and rashes. When inhaled, they can cause coughing, respiratory problems, and nosebleeds.

Is blown in insulation any good?

Yes, when it comes to which is more efficient, blown in insulation wins hands down. When it comes to ease of installation again, blown in insulation is the winner. Installing the blown in insulation versus the batt type insulation is easier, which makes it faster for the professionals. Any type of insulation is an investment, but the blown in insulation will have more ROI over the years when it comes to energy bills.

Is blown in insulation better than rolls?

Yes. Blown in insulation is more effective than other types of insulation, like fiberglass batt. Even having the same R-value, because there are no seams with blown-in insulation as there is with batt insulation, is more than 20% more efficient. 

Another bonus to blown in insulation is there is little to no need for human touch. They blow in it with a machine that has large hoses, and a tank filled with the loose insulation. When batt insulation is installed, it takes man-power hours, sometimes a whole day, of rolling it out in the attic, cutting to fit, and then securing it.

What type of blown in insulation is best?

When you insulate your property, you may be surprised at the different types of insulation on the market and whether blown in insulation or spray foam is the best way to go.  Hands down, spray foam insulation is the most popular know because of the ease to have it installed. Spray foam is more expensive than the other blown in insulation types, but it offers more.

  1. It is Class One Fire Rated for attics because it does not facilitate fire.
  2. It doesn’t retain water, so it doesn’t promote mildew and mold.
  3. It creates a tighter it air seal which helps lower energy bills
  4. It insulates the roof deck and for an unvented attic, it creates a semi-conditioned area.

The biggest downside of spray foam blown in insulation is that requires a professional to install it.

How long does blown in insulation last?

Having new insulation or upgrading existing insulation is an extensive project both physically and financially. Before property owner commits to this, they not only want the best pricing possible, comparing rolled batt insulation to blown in insulation, they want to know will it last. Blown in cellulose insulation has a life expectancy of twenty to thirty years in the right condition. Meaning, there are factors that can affect life expectancy, such as air leaks. If there are air leaks in the attic or the walls, even with the blown in insulation, the air will still leak. Blown in insulation like cellulose, a fluffy material settles over time as much as 20 percent. On a positive side or cellulose, you can add more after it has settled. Cellulose blown in insulation is largely made from recycled newsprint, making it more susceptible to moisture, so any attic leak will damage this blown in insulation.

measuring attic insulation for efficiency

How do I prepare my attic for blown insulation?

Even if you are having a professional insulation contractor install your blown in insulation, there are some things you need to do before they arrive on installation day.

  • Seal It Up: Blown in insulation, or any type of attic insulation is only as good as we seal the attic. To get the most energy-efficiency for the money you’re spending, take the time to seal cracks and block holes. Buy a good quality caulk and pieces of cut 2×4 boards and spend some time in the attic sealing cracks and holes. However, stopping that air exfiltration and infiltration is good, you also need to make sure your attic has ventilation. Every attic needs a certain amount of fresh air to provide your building with a healthy living environment. You want controlled air in your attic that will work with your blown in insulation.
  • Clean It Up: If you use your attic for storage, remove all of it. If you haven’t used your attic, take a tour and look for anything previous owners may have left, you may find an unexpected treasure.  Check the electrical wiring, duck work, roof vents, and any recessed lighting. Make the repairs yourself or have it done before the installation day of your blown in insulation.
  • Get Prepared: As we have mentioned, it needs ventilation in an attic. It keeps hot air from getting trapped and the moisture of that hot air creating mold and causing wood rot. The eaves should be prepared with attic ventilation baffles, so the airflow isn’t blocked. Install barriers around heat-producing things like the chimney, furnace, recessed lights, and stove flues.  Even with a blown in insulation that has a high fire rating, you don’t want to make any changes.

Attics are the only place to have insulation installed. Blown in insulation for walls can do a lot for your building’s energy bills too, especially on the north side!  You might have blown in insulation for the crawl space under your building, especially if you’re don’t have carpeting. Looking to create a quiet environment? Consider having blown in insulation for soundproofing added to your space. When you are ready for new insulation, reach out to the professionals of Foam Tech at 214.205.1200!