In December 1989 and January 1990 the University of Colorado at Denver School of Architecture and Planning studied the energy conservation efficiency of two test buildings that differed only in the insulation systems that had been installed.
Building "A" was insulated with 5.5 inches of sprayed-in cellulose in the walls and R-30 of loose-fill cellulose in the ceiling. Building "B" received R-19 unfaced fiberglass batts in the walls and R-30 kraft-faced batts in the ceiling.
Over the two-month period a number of different tests and measurements were performed.
Here's what the University researchers learned.
In their statement of conclusions the researchers note that results suggest cellulose performs as much as 38% better than fiberglass. The performance advantage of cellulose in temperate climates appears to be about 26%, and the report projects that "this benefit would become more significant in more severe climates."
Cellulose insulation benefits not covered by the University of Colorado study include:
If you're serious about saving money heating and cooling your home, about recycling and responsible use of resources, and about saving energy for our country the only insulation to seriously consider is cellulose.
Cellulose insulation is covered by the most comprehensive legal and voluntary standards of any insulation material. To be sold at all cellulose insulation must meet the requirements of the Consumer Product Safety Commission Safety Standard 16 CFR Part 1209. Most cellulose producers adhere to the much more stringent and comprehensive American Society for Testing and Materials Standard C-739 for loose-fill cellulose insulation and C-1149 for self-supporting spray-applied cellulose insulation. The Federal Trade Commission R-Value Rule applies to cellulose -- as it does to all residential thermal insulation.
A number of qualified independent product testing laboratories have cellulose insulation certification programs to assure contractors and consumers that the material they buy and install meets or exceeds government and industry standards. The National Association of Home Builders National Research Center certifies the quality and performance of cellulose insulation.
The labels of underwriters Laboratories, the United States Testing Company, or other NAVLAP-approved laboratories, or the seal of the NAHB National Research Center are reliable indicators of safe, effective cellulose insulation.
If you want insulation that's best for the nation,
for the environment, and for your checkbook,
Scientists, engineers, and contractors have realized for many years that the most commonly-used building insulation materials are really not the best insulators. Now this "conventional wisdom" of energy conservation has been confirmed and quantified through scholarly research.
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