What is Fiberglass Batt Insulation and Should You Get It?
Fiberglass batt insulation has been around for decades, but you may have just started taking note of it because it’s time to replace or upgrade your current home’s insulation. It happens since the fiberglass can start falling off the batts between 10-20 years.
It’s a good idea to get educated on the ins and outs before deciding on whether or not this type of insulation is right for you!
Fiberglass insulation has many benefits, including energy efficiency and saving money by reducing cooling costs up to 50%. It also saves time because installation can be done without any special tools.
Ultimately, what will work best for you depends on your needs. If you’re looking to save money while staying safe from fires, then fiberglass might be a perfect choice.
What is fiberglass batt insulation?
Fiberglass insulation is a type of thermal insulation material. It comes in fluffy or batt-like fibrous glass wool encased by an outer layer made out of paper, plastic, metal, or other textile materials.
The fiberglass is manufactured originally as wet slurry and then encased by blowing or pressing into this outer layer material. The result is a roll of ready-to-install insulation that is easy to install and effective at insulating.
It’s no wonder it’s one of the most common types of insulation used in millions of homes throughout the US.
How is the insulation installed?
We’ll get to the key benefits shortly, but upfront, this type of insulation is straightforward to install. While we’ll always recommend professional installation, this is easily a task you can do independently.
- Measurements. Measure out the area you’re about to fill or install the insulation. Using a measuring tape, measure the width and length of the area, usually between two studs. Using a straight edge or something similar, mark these measurements on your batt as it’s laid out on the floor.
- Make the cuts. Now that you have the measurements use a box cutter or utility knife to cut your dimensions. Be sure to do this on a piece of plywood or something else you don’t mind cutting into as the blade will go through the fiberglass and into whatever is underneath. When cutting, apply adequate pressure to cut through both the fiberglass and the moisture barrier. Some of these are thick, so adjust the pressure on your cut accordingly.
- Installing. At this point, you have a perfectly sized piece of insulation. Place the insulation into place with the moisture barrier facing the interior of the home. Press the insulation snugly between the studs, but be careful not to compress the fiberglass too much. If it must be compressed to get it to fit, it’s better to cut it just a bit smaller to fit. Remember, insulation works by trapping air, and if the insulation is overly compressed, it won’t be as effective.
- Holding in place. Once the insulation is in place, you want it to stay there. You can choose to use an anchor or support wires. The anchor tacks through the batt to hold it against the wall, whereas the support wires go from stud to stud, holding the batt in place.
Check your local building codes.
Don’t forget, depending on your municipality, you may have construction codes that you have to abide by. Check with your local officials before attempting to install insulation on your own – or get with a professional who should know what is required when installing.
Key benefits of the insulation.
It’s no wonder that fiberglass batt insulation is one of the most popular types of insulation; it has plenty of benefits. Whether you’re looking to save on your energy bills or you’re a DIY’er looking to take the project on yourself, fiberglass batt is a go-to choice for many Americans.
Energy-efficient and saves on your energy bills.
One of its primary purposes is to keep the temperatures stable and comfortable within your home, and fiberglass batt is good at doing just that.
Depending on the R-value you go with, you can save as much as 50% on your energy bill. It’s that effective! Regardless, even if you don’t realize savings like that, you should see a considerable decrease in your monthly utility bill.
A relatively quick installation process.
As discussed, you don’t need any special or expensive tools to install this insulation. That makes it relatively quick and easy to install, something you can do on your own. Even if you opt for professional installation, it is still a quick process.
Fiberglass batt is moisture and fire-resistant.
Safety first! One of the key benefits most families like about fiberglass batt insulation is that it comes with a moisture-resistant and fire-resistant barrier. That means you can breathe easily knowing your family and home are both safe.
Cheaper than most other types of insulation.
Of course, this depends on the R-value, quality of the insulation you buy, and features such as the type of moisture barrier. Still, in general, it’s less expensive than many of the other types of insulation. You can expect to pay about $0.15 per square foot (material only) compared to around $0.50 per board foot of spray-in foam insulation. These prices don’t reflect the installation cost, but that’s a moot point if you’re doing it yourself.
Is fiberglass batt for you?
That’s up to you and your needs. Most will let their wallet decide if this insulation is right for them, but if that’s the case, then they’ll usually be just fine. It’s effective insulation that won’t take its toll on your bank account, so a win-win.
Are there better insulating products? Sure, but you’ll pay for those. However, there are much worse options as well, so keep that in mind.
Fiberglass batt insulation is an excellent option for homeowners and business owners who want to save money through energy efficiency.
If you’ve been on the fence about installing fiberglass batt insulation, we hope this article has helped clear up any misconceptions or questions that you may have had.