Dry cellulose (loose fill)
Dry cellulose is used in retrofitting old homes by blowing the cellulose into holes drilled into the tops of the walls. It can also be blown into a new wall construction by using temporary retainers or netting that is clamped in place then removed once the cellulose has reached the appropriate density. This form of application does settle as much as 20% but the stated R-value of the cellulose is accurate after settling occurs. In addition, a dense-pack option can be used to reduce settling and further minimize air gaps. Dense-pack places pressure on the cavity, and should be done by an experienced installer.
Loose fill in walls is an antiquated technique of using cellulose in wall cavities. The home performance industry and its accrediting bodies support the dense-pack standard of insulating wall cavities, which does not settle. This method stops the stack effect and convective loops in wall cavities.
Dense Pack Cellulose Insulation – Advantages and Disadvantages
Cellulose occupies a particular low end niche in the spectrum of insulation. The thermal resistance of cellulose is comparable to fiberglass but unlike fiberglass, cellulose impedes air flow (and air transported heat loss).
When blown into the stud cavities, cellulose gets everywhere (trust me…everywhere). It flows around wires, pipes and electrical fixtures, eliminating air pockets and restricting air transported heat loss.
Cellulose is very inexpensive, being made from shredded paper and low cost chemicals. Those chemicals (the boric acid, borax or aluminum sulfate mentioned earlier) provide superb resistance to mold, pests and fire.
Most of the volume (approx 80%-85%) in cellulose is recycled newspaper. Cellulose has more recycled material than any other commercially available insulation. Finally, cellulose doesn’t use any greenhouse gases as propellants like spray foam formulations.
Attic Hatch Covers
Due to the recent IRC and IECC Code changes it may be difficult for Architects, Builders, Contractors, Remodelers, etc. to select an attic access solution for residential use that meets the new Building and Energy Codes:
2009 IECC Section 402.2.3 and 2009 IRC Section N1102.2.3 and 2012 IECC Section R402.2.4 reads: "Access hatches and doors. Access doors from conditioned spaces to unconditioned spaces (e.g., attics and crawl spaces) shall be weatherstripped and insulated to a level equivalent to the insulation on the surrounding surfaces." Energy Star Version 3 requirements conform with the 2009, 2012 IECC and 2009, 2012 IRC. The 2012 International Green Construction Code conforms to the 2012 IECC.
These Code requirements mean the attic access pull down ladder or access hatch must now be insulated to the same level as the rest of the attic (minimum R-30).
The time has never been better to add more insulation to your home to save money. Mass offers 75% off incentives, while Connecticut offers a 50% rebate.
Potential Energy is experts when it comes to insulating your home. Weather it's loose fill cellulose (showed left), dense pack cellulose (shown middle), and or sealing hatchways or whole house fans we have the team and tools for the job. We currently service Western Mass and most parts of Connecticut.