It doesn’t matter where you live. Whether in the tropical region or the temperate region, no matter what climate, you could always benefit from having insulation in your home. Proper insulation can result in stable temperature, i.e., your home will be a lot cooler in the scorching heat of the sun and warmer during extreme winters.
In addition to providing ambient temperatures, proper insulation helps you have better ventilation, lesser use of air conditioning, and lesser energy bills. If you make smart choices, you can even reduce noise in your home.
Insulation is an integral factor for any home. Still, the problem is that due to advancements in polymer technology and science in general, we have hundreds of viable solutions for insulation and various combination of the existing solutions to create more effective ones. Fiberglass is one of the most extensively used materials in the insulation field, whether heat or noise.
Fiberglass is a great insulation solution and is available at different price ranges. These have excellent soundproofing capabilities too. Fiberglass is available in mainly two forms: the loose-fill (blown-in) form and in batt form. Batts are used primarily for blanket insulation methods and are often available as rolls.
In this article, we are going to explore the main differences between blown-in and batt insulation, their advantages and disadvantages, when to use them, and more, so that you can make an informed choice regarding the insulation you use.
Differences Between Batt and Blown-In Insulation
Batt Insulation and blown-in insulation are extensively used in residential areas, especially for attic insulation and wall insulation. Specific characteristics make one stand out from the other. Batt insulation is available in rolls and is somewhat a conventional insulation method. One can cut the size and shape of the panel they require for the wall and use it to insulate their home.
However, blown-in insulation results from more advances in technology and doesn’t require cutting out panels to stick it on your walls. One needs to bore a hole in the wall, and you can blow it all in within a matter of minutes, making installation procedures much more manageable.
Let’s have a detailed analysis of the difference between batt insulation and blown-in insulation.
Batt Insulation is available in pre-cut panels
Also referred to as loose-fill insulation, it is installed using a blowing machine that pumps through a hole in the wall.
Insulation of this type is one of the most widely used types.
It is a relatively new approach to insulation and is gaining traction.
Often installed in plain walls without much obstruction
It can be used anywhere as it is often used inside hollow walls to provide thermal insulation.
It is to be noted that both methods, batt insulation and blown-in insulation, can be installed anywhere in a home with the help of a few tweaks.
Blown-in insulation combines fiberglass and cellulose and can be easily blown into walls for a fast installation.
On the other hand, Batt insulation can be installed as panels using a staple gun on or inside your walls. It can have varying thicknesses and multiple layers according to your convenience.
As we already mentioned, Batt insulation has been in the industry for quite some time and is one of the most extensively used methods for thermal and noise insulation. It provides quality insulating properties. It is mainly available in stores as rolled-up, pre-made panels or blankets and can be installed rather easily with a staple gun.
It can sometimes get messy to cut the fiberglass panel in the shape of the obstruction in the wall, and it may not be a perfect fit and can mess with the aesthetics of the room, not to mention decrease the efficiency of insulation.
Now, let’s weigh in the pros and cons of batt insulation.
Pros of Batt Insulation
- Batt Insulation is available ready-made and can be accessed without a waiting time.
- With the help of a skilled professional, Batt Insulation can be installed anywhere, from the attic to the walls.
- It is very cheap, cost-effective, and efficient.
Cons of Batt Insulation
- Batt Insulation has an inherently low R-value (explained later in the article). This means that multiple layers of batts may be needed to achieve superior quality insulation. Generally, this isn’t a problem. But, if you have an odd-shaped surface that needs insulation, it can be a problem.
- Since they are available in panel forms, it can make it hard, and you will need the help of a professional to match it perfectly with the obstructions in your walls and create a good insulation barrier.
- Fiberglass is not immune to moisture, and once it is wet, it loses its R-value till it becomes dry again.
Blown-in insulation is a new method considered a viable alternative for batt insulation.
Instead of cutting out panels, such as in the case of batt insulation, for blown-in insulation, one needs to drill a wall in the hall and pump the material in. The fibreglass+cellulose mixture makes it very easy to install and speeds up the entire insulation process.
Now, let’s look at the pros and cons of blown-in insulation.
Pros of Blown-In Insulation
- Blown-in insulations are more environment-friendly, and this is because most materials used in this method are recycled materials.
- It is an ideal solution and even better than batt insulation for irregular and tight surfaces.
- Since blown-in insulation uses loose material to insulate a surface, it can fit better into corners and all other spots and provide better insulation quality.
- Blown-In insulation is treated with borate during the manufacturing process, which is poisonous to pests and unharmful for humans, making it a multi-purpose solution.
Cons of Blown-In Insulation
- Blown-In insulation has a large percentage of fiberglass in it, making it retain water for long periods, and it also drives down the R-value of the material.
- Blown-In insulation can be perfect for attic insulation, but it can prove to be more costly than normal methods and requires a professional set of hands and dedicated equipment.
Batt Insulation Vs. Blown-In Insulation: Head-to-Head Comparison
Batt Insulation: Batt insulation comes in as panels or batts, suited for blanket insulation. The pre-made panels can be installed on or in the walls using staple guns.
Blown-In Insulation: Blown-in insulation comes in loose form and needs to be blown in, as the name suggests, using a blowing machine.
Batt Insulation: R-value of batt insulation depends on the thickness and the density of the material used. One can easily get an R-Value of 11 using standard size batt insulation and can go up to even 19 if higher quality fiberglass is used.
Blown-In Insulation: Blown-In insulation is more concentrated and can provide a higher R-value ranging from 32 to 38 per square foot. However, the efficiency of the blown-in insulation depends greatly on the thickness, the depth of insulation, and the materials used.
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Batt Insulation: If properly installed, batt insulation is likely to last the lifetime of the home. However, this can be sped up if exposed to external factors, including leaks, natural disasters, etc.
Blown-In Insulation: Same as that of batt insulation, blown-in insulation can also last for long periods if no unfortunate events occur, that is. Blown-in insulations are also susceptible to natural disasters, leaks, and other stimuli.
Batt Insulation: Batt Insulation is one of the cheapest and most cost-effective methods in existence. This is because of the availability of the materials in batt and can be used for large projects because of their scalability.
Blown-In Insulation: Since blown-in insulation is a relatively new concept and requires specialized equipment and personnel to handle it, it costs more than batt insulation.
When to Use Batt Insulation
We have seen that each mode of insulation has significant advantages over the other, and one can use them to their advantage to get maximum efficiency at the lowest price.
Speaking of batt insulation, it is better to use these insulation techniques for fresh construction where you have exposed walls, ceilings, etc. This makes it way easier to install the batts without ruining the aesthetics of your home. Drywalls can be installed on the insulation to cover it up and provide support.
When to Use Blown-In Insulation
Blown-In insulation is more suited for finished homes and when you require only a minimal amount of work to achieve it.
Blown-in insulation doesn’t require you to separate the walls, it only requires you to drill a hole in it, and the rest can be achieved with the minor intrusion or tampering with the aesthetics of your home. Blown-in insulations are perfect for already furbished homes and can provide quality level finishing and insulation if done right.
What is cheaper blown-in insulation or batt insulation?
It is clear from above that batt insulation costs much less than blown-in insulation. This is mostly attributed to the difference in technology, cost and ease of installation, and the level of compactness and efficiency each of them provides.
Batt insulations are ready-made, can be installed easily, and cost less. On the other hand, Blown-in insulation requires special tools and experienced personnel, and the material is costlier too. One important thing is to note that the cost of blown-in insulation is directly proportional to the R-value of the material.
Can you put batt insulation over blown-in insulation?
It is possible to use both batt insulation and blow-in insulation for your home. You can try various combinations of insulation methods to get the best results. It is also an excellent way to decrease costs and attain high levels of efficiency.
However, ensure that when a surface is insulated, it is done perfectly without gaps or cracks due to the overlapping of insulation methods. Otherwise, insulation can’t be done effectively, and the insulation won’t be able to provide temperature stabilization to your home.
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What Is Better: Batt Insulation or Blown-In insulation? The Verdict
Batt Insulation and Blown-In insulation are versatile insulation solutions and have their merits and demerits.
- Batt insulation is ideal for fresh projects undertakings, where the walls are exposed so that it is easy to install batts. Batts also have high efficiency and can be installed relatively easily with the help of a staple gun. Moreover, batt insulation is one of the cheapest and most cost-effective insulation solutions out there.
- On the other hand, Blown-In insulation is more expensive than batt insulation and is preferred for homes that have already finished construction. These are highly efficient as it is available in loose form and can be blown in any part of the wall.
Both batt insulation and blown-in insulation are long-lasting and can even last as much as the house if taken care of. They both require little to no maintenance but are susceptible to water leaks and natural disasters.
In this article, we have discussed batt insulation and blown-in insulation, their merits and demerits, and when they should be used for our readers to make an informed decision.