Blown In Insulation

Blown In Insulation Advantages

Blown-in insulation is available in 2 primary forms, fiberglass and cellulose. It can installed in a loose fill form in attics or in a BIBS/dense pack system in wall or floors. Blown in fiberglass has an r value of 2.2-3 per inch loose fill and up to 4.0 per inch in BIBS system. Blown in Cellulose has an r value of 3-3.5 per inch loose fill and up to 4.0 per inch in dense pack use. Blown in insulation has lower up front costs than spray foam. When installed properly, blown in insulation had many benefits over batt insulation. It fills cavities full and does a much better job limiting air movement compared to conventional batt insulation.

Loose Fill vs BIBS/Dense Pack

 Loose fill blown in is just that, loose filled. This is what is used in attics. Using an insulation blower machine, cellulose or fiberglass is blow into your attic over a poly vapor barrier at thicknesses up to 20 inches to reach needed R values. BIBS (blown in blank system) or dense pack is used for wall systems or floors between levels. A fabric is tightly stapled to studs and material is blown into each stud cavity. Because the fabric is holding in the blown in insulation, it can be installed in a dense form vs loose fill. This dense packing fills all voids and reduces air flow in the cavity. This makes it more affective per inch as well as prevents and settling of the insulation over time. Then a poly vapor barrier is installed over the fabric.

Cellulose Blown in Insulation

Cellulose is a fiber insulation material made from recycled paper. Cellulose has a much higher concentration of recycled materials and can contain up to 85% recycled newspaper and other paper materials. Small pieces of paper are fiberized so they can be densely packed to prevent airflow. Once the material is collected, it is treated with non-hazardous chemicals such as the mineral borate that works as flame retardants and resists pests and mold. Cellulose does a better job than fiberglass typically on reducing air flow as well as does not loosing R value based on temperature. 

Fiberglass Blown in Insulation

Fiberglass is made when molten glass is spun into fibers while being coated with a liquid binder. Those larger pieces are then broken into shorter pieces. Blown in fiberglass is very fire resistant due to it being a glass product. Fiberglass is a dust free material in comparison to cellulose. Fiberglass is more porous than cellulose and does not reduce air flow as well. It also does loose R value in colder temperatures.