Cellulose Insulation?

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  #1  
Old 11-21-02, 08:07 AM
artschwartz
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Question Cellulose Insulation?

I have been looking at various articles on the internet concerning cellulose vs fiberglass insulation.

What are the disadvantages of using cellulose? I already know that it can only be installed by a professional and that there aren't many installers. Are there any other disadvantages?
 
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  #2  
Old 11-22-02, 06:50 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: USA
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Some of the chemicals used in cellulose are sodium borate, boric acid and amonium sulfate. They are there to avoid moisture, fungi, insects and odor. If you are wondering what those chemicals are, look at the ingredients on a bar of soap. These chemicals also make the cellulose flame retardent. Depending on the amount of these chemicals, because some manufacturers add more than others, they claim that it makes your home termite and insect proof.

It is not the product itself that is a disadvantage, it is how it interacts with other applications and processes in the structure. For example, cellulose has a higher absorbancy rate and lower explusion rate towards moisture than fiberglass insulation. Clearly fiberglass is more advantageous in areas of high humidity than cellulose because of that characteristic towards moisture and vice-versa in cold climates. But it does not mean you should not use either insulation in either climates and not receive satifactory results. What it does mean is that one has to consider the site conditions to determine the best insulation. You as the consumer is responsible in making that determination and your question exemplifies it.

An example of how applications interact negatively with other applications is www.eifsfacts.org this is what happened at Marriot hotels which destroyed the structures. Was it the siding or the insulation that destroyed the structures? That is like saying which came first, the chicken or the egg? In my opinion, each product independently would not produce such results and their tests proves it. It was when the 2 applications were brought together that resulted in the destroying of the structure. Clearly the siding has a much lower perm rating than the insulation and vapor barrier, thus trapping moisture in the walls. Could this have been avoided using the same applications? The answer is yes.

Each product goes through testing. It is when different products and applications interacts adversely that problems occur. It is the responsibility of the manufacturers, architects and engineers who make and apply these products that should prescribe the proper application of these products. So in my opinion, it is not the product itself that has disadvantages, it is how it is applied. It is only prudent one should read the instructions carefully, especially the do's, don'ts and cautions.

There are many sites you can go to, to find out more about a product. With insulation, your consumer affairs agency, U.S. Dept. of Energy, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (Building Envelope Performance), Tennessee Valley Association and more. The more you learn, the better off you are going to be. And never take one person's opinion, even mine.
 
  #3  
Old 11-23-02, 07:17 AM
rbisys
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Greetings,

Adding cellulose or fiberglass to existing insulation may or may not pay for itself. Marginal at best. Adding these bulk insulations increases the mass that absorbs heat energy and that can increase the a/c costs. The moisture that both of these materials create increases the heat flow dramatically, up to 70% according to the NBS and also moisture is a great retainer of heat energy for latter release into the home.

I'm assuming that you are talking about an existing home. If so, you can install a radiant barrier (RB) insulation over the top of the existing and save up to 30% on a/c and about 12% on heat'g, single story.

If you are new constuction then you can install multi-layer RB in the ceil'g and walls and save substantually over the bulk types on heat'g and cooling. PLUS, you do not have worry about carcenogenic fibers or chemicals. condensation ( that inceases heat flow and can rot the framing), or mold that can make you sick or kill you.

If you want more info check; SEARCH, radiant barriers or refelective insulations

For radiant barrier paint additives of existing homes check
Koolcoat.com

If you want more info from me about installing or material sources, let me know.

Thank you for considering my opinion.
 
  #4  
Old 11-25-02, 09:29 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Michigan
Posts: 126
Question

I submitted an email question on 'radiant barrier paint additives' to the below mentioned agency. Seems like they do not recognize radiant barrier paint additives as being useful.

here is the email:

Thank you for your inquiry to Ask an Energy Expert, a service of the U.S.
Department of Energy's Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Clearinghouse
(EREC), as follows:
- - - - - - - - - -

Re: 'I live in a mainly cold climate and I am interested in
information/facts on interior paints that can reflect heat loss through the
ceiling. I have heard through online
forums about heat reflective particles mixed with ceiling paint to reduce
heat loss through drywall ceiling. Do you have info on that subject or can
you lead me to a website?
much appreciated.'

RESPONSE:

"Such claims are complete nonsense. Here are the titles and URLs for our briefs that may be especially helpful:"
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Insulation
www.ornl.gov/roofs+walls/insulation/ins_01.html

Seal Air Leaks and Save Energy
http://www.eren.doe.gov/buildings/do...pdfs/26448.pdf

Attic access
http://www.eren.doe.gov/buildings/do...pdfs/26447.pdf

Home energy audits
www.eren.doe.gov/consumerinfo/refbriefs/ea2.html

Energy Star rated products
www.energystar.gov/products

Integrated Space Conditioning and Water Heating Equipment
www.eren.doe.gov/consumerinfo/refbriefs/ad6.html

Sizing Residential Heating and Air Conditioning Systems
http://www.eren.doe.gov/consumerinfo/refbriefs/cb7.html

Comparing Heating Fuels
http://www.eren.doe.gov/consumerinfo/refbriefs/cb5.html

Radiant Floor Heating and Cooling Systems
www.eren.doe.gov/consumerinfo/refbriefs/bc2.html

Improving the Efficiency of Your Duct System
www.eren.doe.gov/buildings/home_ducts.html

Heat pump innovations
www.eren.doe.gov/consumerinfo/refbriefs/bd7.html

There is additional information on a wide variety of renewable energy and
energy efficiency topics on the Web at:
www.eren.doe.gov/consumerinfo

A very popular publication that we distribute, "Energy Savers: Tips on
Saving Energy and Money at Home," can be downloaded at:
www.eren.doe.gov/consumerinfo/energy_savers/

Other fact sheets that we distribute, which can be downloaded from the Web
are:
"Selecting Windows for Energy Efficiency" at: www.efficientwindows.org/

You can also call our service to obtain hard copies of these publications at
800-363-3732.

We hope this helps, and on behalf of the US Department of Energy thank you
for your interest in energy efficiency and renewable energy. Please contact
us again if we can be of additional assistance.

We can be reached via the Ask an Energy Expert online form at:
www.eren.doe.gov/askanenergyexpert
or directly via Email at: [email protected]
or by phone (toll free in the USA): 800-363-3732
or by fax: 703-893-0400

Sincerely,
Michael Lamb

radiant barrier paint additives

handyhand
 
  #5  
Old 11-25-02, 11:08 AM
artschwartz
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Thanks Everbody! But...

I appreciate all the responses I have received so far. Although, to date I have received only one about cellulose insulation.

I have done a quick look at the internet to find out about radiant barriers.

1) The Department of Energy has put out a fact sheet on radiant barriers

http://www.ornl.gov/roofs+walls/radiant/index.html

The fact sheet states that barriers offer more benefit to those regions that have higher cooling requirements than heating. Because I live in Baltimore, MD I don't think this area would benefit that much from radiant barriers.

2) HY Tech Thermal Solutions has a website that advertises insulating paints and ceramic paint additive.

http://ceramicadditive.com/index.html

They have the Energy Star symbol on their website and state that they sell Energy Star.

I looked at the Energy Star site. They do not qualify radiant barrier paint or foils for the homeowner. However, in their business section they do have a section on qualified roofing products for businesses.

3) The Oak Ridge National Laboratory does a considerable amount of research for the Department of Energy on Building Technology. They have a great website at:

http://www.ornl.gov/btc/link.htm

4) I still would like to know more about cellulose insulation. They do sell it at my local Lowe's and it is allowed in my area.
 
  #6  
Old 11-27-02, 09:02 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Michigan
Posts: 126
Cool Boric acid

From what I understand about the cellulose material at LO and HD is that they are not treated with Boric acid.
Read forum: ATTICS
Thread: "Anyone Know Where I Can Buy Loose Fill/cel Insulation?"
dated: 10-08-02

might help.
 

Last edited by handyhand; 11-27-02 at 09:19 AM.
  #7  
Old 11-27-02, 09:55 AM
rbisys
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Greetings,

Welcome to the wonderful world of DOE deception. RBs are just as efficient in winter as summer. They are used in the Arttic region and on space ships. Cellulose will freeze soild in the Arttic region because of the condensation factor. According to the NBS the cellulose will hold up to 14% moisture in an uninhabitated house. More condensation can form when a/c is used. The rule of thumb is, 5% increase of heat flow for every 1% of moisture by weight. I've seen fiber materials saturated with moisture in summer. If you check a mechanical engineering manual you'll see that the emissivity factor is constant, regardless of heat flow.

DOE does this because they do not want the home owner using highly efficient insulation materials. It reduces the amount of energy taxes the government can collect from you.

Don"t put too much stock in the energy star program, many products are not tested under installed conditions.

Thank you for considering my opinion.
 
  #8  
Old 11-27-02, 09:56 AM
rbisys
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Greetings,

Welcome to the wonderful world of DOE deception. RBs are just as efficient in winter as summer. They are used in the Arttic region and on space ships. Cellulose will freeze soild in the Arttic region because of the condensation factor. According to the NBS the cellulose will hold up to 14% moisture in an uninhabitated house. More condensation can form when a/c is used. The rule of thumb is, 5% increase of heat flow for every 1% of moisture by weight. I've seen fiber materials saturated with moisture in summer. If you check a mechanical engineering manual you'll see that the emissivity factor is constant, regardless of heat flow.

DOE does this because they do not want the home owner using highly efficient insulation materials. It reduces the amount of energy taxes the government can collect from you.

Don't put too much stock in the energy star program, many products are not tested under installed conditions.

Thank you for considering my opinion.
 
  #9  
Old 11-27-02, 11:00 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Michigan
Posts: 126
Talking the challenge

Risys says RB is just as efficient in winter as summer..

Here is my version of RB vs. FG 'chicken in a barrel' challenge:

We will set up two large barrels side by side in subfreezing temperature.
one barrel will have RB lined interior and the other barrel will have FG lined interior .
Risys will stand naked in the RB barrel and I will stand naked in the FG barrel. who's buns will turn blue first ?

I say Risys will freeze his buns off first.
 
  #10  
Old 11-27-02, 11:42 AM
rbisys
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Greetings,

I like that test. Better than some I've seen.

Actually you bring up a good point. When I first got into this business the manufacturer told me that at building shows they would make a small enclosure that would hold a small table with a typewriter on it,(what is a type writer?) and a chair. The structure was wrapped in RB. The deal was you got $20.00 if you could sit in there and type for 10 minutes. They never gave out the $20.00.

Now I would be willing to do your test, but, having got older my butts got smaller and I don't know if you could see any difference.

You can do your test without shriveling anything and you do that as follows.

Take two plastic milk jugs and fill with water. Freeze.
Wrap one with kitchen foil, making sure you leave ane air space between the foil and bottle. Wrap the bottom too and sit on a lid large enough to support the bottle and the open side of the lid facing up.

Do the same with FG.

I've had school kids use this for science projects.

Which will turn to water first? Now if I win you have to builkd one home with RB so that you can see for yourself. If I don't, I'll do your test.

Keep in mind survival suits are made with what?

Thank you for considering my opinion.
 
  #11  
Old 11-27-02, 12:38 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Michigan
Posts: 126
Rbisys,
you said:
"You can do your test without shriveling anything and you do that as follows."

But they are not the same test;

In the barrel test we are trying to keep the inside WARM.
(COLD outside and WARM inside.)

In the milk jug test we are trying to keep the inside COOL.
(WARM outside and COLD inside.)

IF I win my test and IF you win your test then it means this:

When used alone, RB is better than FG in protecting the frozen jug from heat.
and
When used alone, FG is better than RB in protecting the barrel content from freezing.

The milk jug test is performed to demonstrate the niche superiority of RB.
and the barrel test is performed to demonstrate the niche superiority of FG.

but they are not the same test.
 
  #12  
Old 11-27-02, 02:09 PM
rbisys
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Greetings,

If you look in an engineerring manual you'll see that there is no diffence in the direction of heat flow as far as the performance of alum foil.

So put hot water in the bottles and see which one cools down first.
 
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