Cellulose Vs. Fiberglass Insulation

Written by Courtney Salinas
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Cellulose insulation first came into popularity in the 1970s during the oil embargo. Builders and consumers alike were looking for ways to conserve energy and save money at the same time. Since then, cellulose insulation has been challenging fiberglass insulation in popularity.


Fiberglass insulation is made of tiny glass particles, but cellulose insulation is made entirely of recycled newspaper. While fiberglass insulation typically averages 35 percent recycled materials, cellulose insulation consists of an average of 75 percent recycled materials. What's more is it takes 10 times as much energy to produce fiberglass insulation as it takes to produce cellulose insulation.

Health Issues

We often don't think about the affects that the materials our home is built with have on our health. Not so long ago, lead based paints were used in homes, schools and hospitals. We now know lead paint to be very dangerous to us, especially to our children. But still we unknowingly fill our homes with harmful substances. We are discovering more and more about the air quality (or lack thereof) in our homes, and we are also discovering that the kind of insulation used in your home can make a difference.

Many argue cellulose insulation is the safest form of home insulation. Fiberglass insulation, which irritates your skin if you even touch it much less breathe it, has been classified by the federal government as a probable carcinogen. Cellulose insulation, on the other hand, has been proven to be a very safe form of home insulation. There are no known health issues due to breathing in a home with cellulose insulation.

Cellulose insulation is also built to prevent mold, which is known to cause serious allergies. Cellulose insulation fills the walls from top to bottom, which prevents moisture that breeds mold from settling in the insulation. Fiberglass insulation is pieced together and never fully fills the wall space, creating room for moisture to enter and for mold to grow.

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