Cellulose is the oldest building insulation material. Many types of cellulosic materials have been used, including newspaper, cardboard, cotton, straw, sawdust, hemp and corncob. Monticello was insulated with a form of cellulose. Modern cellulose insulation, made with recycled newspaper using grinding and dust removing machines and adding a fire retardant, began in the 1950s and came into general use in the US during the 1970s
An efficient, green and affordable insulation solution. Cellulose insulation is the smart alternative to fiberglass. Insulation choices can be difficult to make, but cellulose insulation is an easy choice.
If all homes were insulated with cellulose it would remove 3.2 million tons of newsprint from the nation’s wasted materials.
Cellulose truly is ‘green’. Made from 80% post-consumer recycled newsprint. Cellulose earns ‘green’ points because it requires less energy than fiberglass to manufacture. The fiber is chemically treated with non-toxic borate compounds (20% by weight) to resist fire, insects and mold. The thermal protection of a home is essential; controlling durability, cost of operation and homeowner comfort. Fiberglass insulation is the standard bearer. The ubiquitous bales of pink and yellow fiberglass insulate more than 90% of the new homes built in the United States. But homeowners have many good choices. Plastic foams, rock wool, cellulose and even cotton insulation are readily available. Insulation materials come in many forms. They are sprayed, stapled, blown, nailed or simply laid in place.
The greatest opportunities for air sealing exist at the top and bottom of the house because the greatest stack pressures exist there. Warm air rises and exhausts most vigorously high in the house. Replacement air infiltrates most forcefully at the lowest levels. Start by sealing air leaks in the attic. Seal around electrical lights, junction boxes, fan housings, pipes, and wires. Be sure to seal where wall plates intersect the attic floor. Seal duct connections and penetrations through the ceiling. Be careful around chimneys. Use a non-flammable sealing material there. Install baffles in each rafter bay at the eaves so you don’t block soffit vents. Leave enough room above the baffles for vent air to pass from soffit vents up into the attic where it can exhaust through the ridge vent system. Repeat this air-sealing strategy in the basement ceiling to block infiltration points. And lastly, when possible, seal the walls.