Air Plus Heating & Cooling

What’s the Scoop on Insulation?


Forget the rolls, grab the blower!

One of the recurring themes we discuss at Air Plus and in these pages is the theme of updating existing homes. Let’s face it, here in San Diego and southern California, there are always going to be more “used” homes than new homes, but buying and updating an older home doesn’t mean you have to settle for less efficiency in you HVAC.

One of the first things that many owners look to do is adding insulation in the attic. Many of us can remember Owens-Corning’s Pink Panther advertisements for rolls of fiberglass batting, but there are actually many newer options that are more efficient.

At Air Plus, we’re big fans of blown-in insulation. In fact, it is our “go-to” plan for improving the insulating qualities of our clients. Why?

First of all, the amount of labor and time required with a blown system is far less than with traditional rolls, but there are far bigger benefits to be had with blown-in insulation. There are two primary types of blown insulation – one of fiberglass and the other of cellulose. Ironically, both are made of renewable resources – the fiberglass from sand and recycled glass and the cellulose from assorted natural and recycled fibers. Personally, we recommend fiberglass since it settles far less and retains a higher R-value over time than cellulose.

That being said, here are some other reasons to consider adding blown-in insulation to your home:

• Energy efficiency – simply put, blown-in insulation is much more efficient, since it can fill all the “nooks and crannies” in an attic, getting in and sealing spots that batting can never hope to fill. As a result, the material is far more moisture resistant, which helps negate mold and mildew growth, even when a minor leak appears due to a freak storm.
• Noise – As a result of the way that blown insulation fills voids, it acts as a sound insulator as much as a thermal insulator. In the end, this helps to keep the outside quiet for you, whether it is a heavy rainfall or the neighbor cutting the grass too early on a weekend morning.
• Fire resistance – It may seem counter-intuitive, but blown-in insulation, due to the fact that it packs into small spaces so easily and allows little air into the spaces it occupies, is slow to burn. This provides an extra level of fire resistance since not enough oxygen is available to burn easily. For older homes built under more lax fire codes, blown in insulation can be another layer of cheap insurance for your home.
• Installation – This is where blown insulation really shines! As the name suggests, the material is simply blown in from the holding tank by our team and that means there is far less time spent moving, cutting to size, and packing into small spaces. The blower system we use at Air Plus can move up to 450 pounds of material an hour, so even the biggest jobs can be done in a matter of hours – not days.

In the end, we know that some folks love to “do it themselves”, but the multiple benefits of blown insulation mean that the somewhat higher costs can be recouped due to the energy savings you have over the first few years. Before you charge off to the home improvement store and load up your truck with rolls of fiberglass, give us a call at Air Plus at 858-505-8711 or 619-276-8165 to see not only how you can improve your homes energy efficiency but save your own time, too!