Cellulose vs. Spray Foam

If you were to look at a pie chart showing what you spend every year on home energy use, your heating and cooling system would take up nearly half of the pie.

But with properly installed insulation, you can cut down on your energy demand, leading to a lower heating and cooling bill and creating a more comfortable environment in your home.

Still, you may be wondering: “Which type of insulation is right for me?” Let’s look at the two chief types of insulation and the benefits they bring.

Spray foam insulationSpray foam

This is a spray-applied cellular polyurethane foam that’s pumped into your walls, and comes in two varieties, closed-cell and open-cell.

The benefits of using spray foam insulation include:

  • It’s better at insulating – Spray foam’s fluid nature allows it to create a continuous barrier on nearly every surface, eliminating some of the steps needed to weatherize a home. It has a higher R-value and can prevent water and rodent damage.
  • It prevents mold from forming – Closed-cell spray foam is tough for water to penetrate, and as such can keep mold and moisture from forming in your home. It also provides an air and water vapor barrier for roofing projects.
  • Sound insulation – Open-cell spray foam offers great sound insulation between walls.

We should note that spray foam is typically more expensive – but also more effective – than cellulose. It’s also not a good idea to try to install it yourself. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends hiring a professional installer.


Cellulose Insulation

Cellulose is a loose-fill insulation made from chopped-up, discarded newsprint. Like spray foam, it’s able to work its way into hard-to-reach areas.

The benefits of cellulose include:

  • Studies have shown it offers better fire protection than fiberglass
  • It’s environmentally friendly. Instead of ending up in landfills, those old newspapers get a second life keeping your home insulated
  • You’ll spend less than you would with spray foam insulation
  • The boric acid in the insulation can provide a form of pest control

Keep in mind that cellulose has a lower R-value than spray foam, though it is still a highly-effective method of insulating your home.

McGlaughlin insulation recognizes that you may not have experience with either type of insulation, and we’re ready to help.

We are always more than happy to consult with homeowners and builders about the benefits of both kinds of insulation, what’s best for your application and how we’ll apply them.

Contact us today to learn more.