Blow In Insulation 101: How It Works, Pros and Cons, and More

If your house doesn’t have insulation and you suffer the consequences of this every winter when it gets too cold and every summer when it gets way too hot, then you might want to consider insulating your home by yourself. One way in which you can do that is to blow in insulation into your walls, either from the outside or from the inside. Blow in insulation is one of the easiest to install types of insulation you can try. Before you decide on trying it out, let’s have a look at what exactly it entails, what are its pros and cons, and how you can install it.

Blow In Insulation: The Basics

Blow in insulation is one of the most well-known types of insulation, mainly because it’s easier to install and cheaper than others. Most people spend between $900 and $1.900 on this project, depending on whether they do it themselves or they hire other people for the job. If you want to pay less money and you’re good with handy projects, then this task shouldn’t scare you. You can rent all of the equipment you need to insulate your house, and then you’re good to go.

Blow in insulation works by protecting your home from excessive heat and cold drafts. Furthermore, it keeps away humidity and makes your home much more comfortable. It’s definitely an investment worth making, especially if weather extremes are giving you a hard time.

There are three types of blow in insulation: fiberglass, cellulose, and rock wool fiber. Today, we will go through each of them and talk about their pros and cons. Hopefully, this will help you decide on the best option for your home.

1. Fiberglass Insulation

Fiberglass is one of the most common types of blow in insulation. It’s also the cheapest, which is part of what makes it so popular. It comes in blocks and you have to use a machine to blow it into the walls of your house. Usually, people use it on top of an already existing cellulose installation, mostly because it comes with extra fire-retardance. Among the most relevant pros of fiberglass insulation are the fact that it’s inert and doesn’t settle, that moisture doesn’t affect it, and that sound pollution is less of an issue because of it.

2. Cellulose Insulation

The next type of blow in insulation is the most popular one as well, especially due to its high R-value per square inch. Since this type of insulation is made of plant fibers, it’s more natural and less hazardous for you to install. However, it also comes with a drawback, namely the fact that it lacks an innate vapor retarder. If is stays wet for a longer period of time, you’ll notice that it can get quite damaged. Still, this material is non-corrosive, it soundproofs your home nicely, and it also helps protect the environment.

pile of cellulose insulation

3. Rock Wool Fiber Insulation

The rock wool fiber blow in insulation is also a great option for the environment. That’s because it’s made of recycled materials. Moreover, just like the fiberglass insulation, this one too is fire-retardant. Because of this natural characteristic, this type of blow in insulation is also rather expensive, at least more expensive than the ones we’ve discussed above. Still, a lot of people choose to install it, mostly because it soundproofs exceptionally well and it also repels rodents and insects. Moreover, you can install rock wool fiber insulation without a special mechanical blower. This is not an option in the case of the other two types of insulation above. Just consider that this means you’re going to have to spend more time on the project.

Blow In Insulation: How Can You Install It?

Since cellulose insulation is the most popular type of blow in insulation out there, we thought it would also be useful to show you the steps you have to go through in order to install it yourself.

Step 1: Choose the Best Place to Blow In the Insulation

The first thing you have to consider when it comes to a blow in insulation is the best place to start. As we’ve already mentioned, you can do this both from the inside and the outside of your house. Since this is quite a messy project, we advise you to choose the second option. Moreover, because you’re going to have to drill holes into the walls, both above and below windows, between each stud, and above doors, you also have to think about which wall is more suitable for this task.

If your home has a second floor as well, you might want to install the insulation from the outside on the first floor and from the inside on the second one. This prevents you from climbing ladders and putting your safety at risk.

Step 2: Rent a Blower Machine

You can find blower machines at a rental store. They usually have a 1 inch nozzle, in which case the holes you drill into your walls have to be of the exact same size. The staff at the store will teach you how to operate the machine. You should also check if the machine has a locking mechanism that can keep the hose, blower, and nozzle together. If it doesn’t, you can use duct tape to secure them together.

man standing next to an insulation blower machine

Step 3: Start Insulating

When it’s time to start insulating your home, you’re going to need another person’s help as well. That’s because someone has to operate the machine and someone else has to manage the nozzle and insulate the walls. Start with the lowest hole and work your way up while covering the hole above the one you’re currently filling. This will prevent insulation from being blown out through there. Also, make sure that the nozzle fits perfectly into the hole, otherwise insulation might shoot back. It typically takes a few minutes to fill each cavity.

Summing Everything Up

If you’re a person who likes to take care of handy tasks around the house, and you’ve noticed that your home is not properly insulated, you can always try to brave this task out yourself. With a lot of patience and hard work, your home can become warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

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William E. Eubanks
 

I'm one of the main writers on the site; mostly dealing with environmental news and ways to live green. My goal is to educate others about this great planet, and the ways we can help to protect it.

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