• Cellulose Insulation is a form of insulation that is made up of recycled paper & cardboard that was developed in Sweden
  • There are many downsides to cellulose insulation including retaining moisture, which will lead to mold growth & could cause illnesses
  • Spray foam insulation is a better choice for insulation as it provides a better R-rating, will not retain moisture, and will last longer


When it comes to creating a comfortable and energy-efficient living space, choosing the right insulation is crucial. Some homeowners are turning to sustainable and eco-friendly solutions, and one standout choice gaining popularity is cellulose insulation. Derived from recycled materials and boasting remarkable insulating properties, cellulose insulation is changing the way we think about home comfort and environmental impact, but it is not without its flaws. Let’s dive into the downsides of cellulose insulation and how it compares to spray foam insulation methods!


What is Cellulose Insulation?

Cellulose insulation is an eco-friendly thermal and acoustic insulating material made from recycled paper and cardboard. The cellulose insulation we use today has evolved to become a more efficient and sustainable solution compared to fiberglass batt insulation. This form of insulation is generally a choice for many homeowners.

The production process of cellulose insulation starts by collecting post-consumer waste paper materials, such as newspapers, magazines, and cardboard. These materials are then treated to remove inks and other contaminants, leaving behind pure cellulose fibers. After the purification process, the cellulose fibers are treated with natural fire retardants, ensuring the insulation meets safety standards and provides excellent fire resistance.

Once ready for installation, the treated cellulose fibers are blown into wall cavities, attics, and floors using specialized equipment. The insulation forms a dense and seamless layer, filling gaps and creating a thermal barrier against heat loss during winter and heat gain during summer. Cellulose insulation can also be used as an acoustic barrier, reducing noise transmission within your home and creating a serene and peaceful environment.


History of Cellulose Insulation

Cellulose insulation has a rich history that dates back to the early 1900s. The concept of using cellulose fibers for insulation was first introduced in the United States in 1893 by Dr. Gustav Nordling, a Swedish chemist. However, it wasn’t until the 1920s that the modern cellulose insulation we know today began to take shape.

In 1920, the first patent for a cellulose insulation machine was granted to Dr. Otto Bayer, a German chemist. This invention allowed for a more efficient and widespread production of cellulose insulation. During the 1930s and 1940s, cellulose insulation gained popularity as an effective and affordable alternative to other insulation materials.

The growth of the cellulose insulation industry continued throughout the 20th century, driven by advancements in manufacturing techniques and an increasing focus on sustainable building practices. In the 1970s, a significant boost in demand for cellulose insulation was seen due to the energy crisis, as homeowners sought energy-efficient solutions.

Today, cellulose insulation remains a popular choice for environmentally conscious homeowners, as it is made from recycled paper, reduces waste in landfills, and provides adequate thermal and acoustic properties.


Downsides of Cellulose Insulation

While cellulose insulation offers numerous benefits, it also comes with some serious downsides to consider. One primary concern is moisture retention. Cellulose insulation can absorb and retain moisture, which can lead to mold growth and reduced insulation effectiveness over time if not properly installed or protected.

Another potential downside is settling. Cellulose fibers may compact and settle over the years, causing uneven insulation distribution and creating voids that reduce its thermal performance.

Cellulose insulation can also be a challenging material to install correctly. Proper installation requires specialized equipment and expertise to ensure uniform coverage and avoid compression, maintaining its insulating properties.

Additionally, cellulose insulation may not be the best option for those with respiratory sensitivities. The fine particles in cellulose can become airborne during installation or if disturbed, potentially triggering allergies or irritation. During installation, the fine fibers that are “blown” into respective areas release many particles and require a lot of clean up!

Finally, while cellulose insulation is considered eco-friendly due to its recycled content, it requires the addition of fire retardants for safety. Some fire retardants may have environmental concerns, raising questions about the overall sustainability of the insulation.


Cellulose Insulation vs Spray Foam Insulation

Spray foam insulation and cellulose insulation both have their merits, but spray foam holds greater advantages. First of all, spray foam insulation is eco-friendly as well as it uses recycled plastics as its main material. Spray foam forms an airtight seal upon application, effectively preventing air leakage and reducing energy loss. It provides higher R-values, or thermal resistance, offering superior thermal performance compared to cellulose. Its versatility allows it to be applied in various locations, including hard-to-reach areas, providing consistent insulation coverage. Additionally, spray foam has a longer lifespan and doesn’t settle or degrade over time, ensuring prolonged effectiveness. While cellulose is eco-friendly and has been around longer, spray foam insulation is also eco-friendly, has exceptional insulation properties and the ability to create an airtight envelope make it a preferred choice for energy-efficient and well-insulated homes!


Choose Eagle Insulation!

Essentially, not all insulation methods are the same quality so it’s important to choose a contractor who uses products that promote a safe and healthy home. At Eagle Insulation we pride ourselves in doing just that! You can trust that our insulation contractors will keep your house warm in the winter and cool in the summer while using safe, eco-friendly, high-quality spray foam. We also provide spray foam insulation for commercial, industrial, & agricultural buildings. Schedule a free estimate on our website today to start your spray foam insulation project with us and get ready to save money on energy costs every month from here on out!





278 Sawyer Drive #1, Durango, CO 81303


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