Cellulose Insulation

Cellulose Insulation

According to the latest findings, heating and cooling account for 20% to 50% of the energy used. Much of this energy is used to run AC systems in homes. As a result, homeowners will experience an increase in utility bills. This will strain the financial resources of any homeowner. As a result, installing roof insulation like cellulose insulation will improve indoor temperatures.

To maximize energy savings, homeowners need to seal draughts around windows and doors. Wall and roof insulation is also required as it helps with cooling and reduces the need to run AC systems.

One of the most common home insulation material is cellulose.

What is cellulose insulation?

Cellulose insulation is one of the oldest methods of insulating homes. As a green solution to your home, it is made from cardboard and recycled newsprint. This can be used in both old and new homes.

Experts typically install paper insulation in existing walls, unfinished attic floors, and new walls. Once installed, the insulation reduces the movement of heat as well as the entry of cold draughts. As a result, your home will always be fresh and comfortable. Also, it reduces the need to run AC systems.

How Cellulose Woks?

As said earlier, cellulose insulation is made up of recycled newsprint and cardboard. A few manufacturers may add plant matter to make the insulation denser. During installation, contractors blow the insulation in walls, floors and attic cavities. If the home is under construction, the contractors will wet spray the insulation. This happens before the drywall is up. As such, it helps to increase heat retention and dampen noise levels.

To make wet spray cellulose denser, contractors will add water. This happens during the application process. It makes the material have sound and thermal retardant properties similar to dry cellulose insulation.

What is the recommended R-value of cellulose insulation?

R values, as well as RSI values, measure the effectiveness of insulating materials. If the R-value of blow-in insulation material is high, it means the insulation is more resistant to movement of heat.

In different cities, the building codes will specify the minimum R values for all homes. So, before insulating your home, it is essential to know the minimum insulation R values. Why?

Here are the benefits of insulating your home with the right R-value:

  • Reduce movement of heat
  • Reduce the use of AC systems
  • Increase heat retention
  • Saves you money on utility bills
  • Makes your home comfortable

So, which is the recommended R-value for cellulose insulation to enjoy the benefits above? The recommended R-value 3.70 in South Africa.

Pros and cons of cellulose insulation


  • Lightweight
  • Effective at all temperatures
  • Eco-friendly – Made from recycled newsprint
  • No greenhouse gases such as propellants are used.
  • Aluminum sulfate and borax mixed with cellulose insulation makes your home resistant to fire, pest, and mold
  • Assures you of consistent performance


  • In windy areas cellulose can be affected by wind movement.
  • The chemical compound in cellulose causes problems for people with allergies.
  • Paper insulation absorbs water and results can be catastrophic.
  • Installation costs can be high.
  • When dry cellulose insulation is blow-in, it sags with time — reducing the R-value of the insulation.
  • Absorbs moisture quickly. A vapor barrier is required. It will result in an added expense of topping up.
  • Steelwork and water pipes can corrode.

Final Thoughts

Cellulose insulation is made up of 85% recycled material namely cardboards and recycled newsprint. Making the insulation an eco-friendly solution. So, if you are interested in insulating your home, talk to the experts. They are in a better position to help you find the best solution depending on your needs.