Cellulose versus Foam


Old 07-23-06, 07:49 PM
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Cellulose versus Foam

We need to decide between cellulose and foam insulation within the next week or so. Obviously, our information is mixed from salesman -- but since foam has not "taken off" in this area, it is difficult to find some good comparison experiences.

Foam is clearly more expensive - but everyone says "if I had it to do over ..." they would go with foam insulation. Any advise or experience in this arena? There is at least a $4,000 difference between cellulose and foam and we want to make the decision for the right reasons ...

1. Are either linked to allergies or asthma as an irritant? (this is a huge factor in our decision because of our youngest son).
2. Has foam proven to save in energy costs? (Any input on average monthly savings would help.)

Thank you!
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Old 07-24-06, 08:59 AM
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This site discusses the different types of insulation and a lot more.

Your question raises a great deal of debate, even among energy conservationists. There are basically two sides to this debate. One is known as "New School" who favors foam and the other is "Old School" who favors cellulose. I will openly admit I am "Old School". So you know my choice.

With that aside the first thing one should consider is that any type of insulation in a home may be a major factor concerning comfort and energy bills, it is only one single component of the structure. Furthermore this component will interact with all the other components of the structure. In other words, insulation may be important but it is not the only thing that determines your comfort level or energy bill.

Let's assume someone you know built a house and used cellulose. Sometime later they state they wished they used foam. The installation of foam would have not made that much of a difference in comfort or energy bills. The reason for this is the "Law of Diminishing Return".

As far as "Indoor Air Quality" (IAQ) is concerned, the foam would have made things worse. I strongly recommend you do some research on "Volitale Organic Compounds" (VOC's). Where they come from and the impact VOC's has with air tight construction, especially with new construction.

I realize I am not elaborating on this subject. First I am trying to avoid giving my apparent bias opinion and second I would prefer you do some research and decide for yourself.

While the following does not have to do with either comfort or energy savings, I would like you to research on "Flash Point".
Old 07-29-06, 04:21 PM
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Ill say it --- Go for the cellulose it does a good job . Cant burn or melt and put off a "bad gas"

Old 07-29-06, 10:37 PM
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There is also the insect issue associated with foam insulation.

Old 07-31-06, 08:00 AM
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$4,000 more for foam?

I'm interested in this foam debate. I just got an estimate for insulating my walls only.

$2,500 for cellulose, but to do the job, they have to pry off a lot of aluminum siding. Some guys wouldn't even price the job, saying they didn't want to bend and dent my aluminum.

So now I'm thinking foam might be the way to go. Perhaps the foam can be applied with a smaller hole, which can be drilled and patched instead of having my perfect aluminum ruined.

But the cost is something... I wonder what it would be, or if icynene can be injected through one small hole, say 1/2 inch, instead of cellulose's two minimum 2 inch holes.

Anybody have real knowledge of how icynene is applied--and how much more it can cost?

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