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The Truth About Home Insulation. Is it Risky for Your Health?

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installing home insulation batts

Many people barely understand home insulation because of its technicalities and myths. The misinformation has significantly impacted home improvement decisions, preventing homeowners from enjoying the full benefits of insulation. This post will help you gain some clarity by cracking three infamous insulation misconceptions.

1. Fiberglass Insulation is Carcinogenic

Fiberglass insulation is made by spinning molten glass into tiny fibers. But is it really carcinogenic? The answer is simply…no!

The North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (NAIMA) emphasizes that no conclusive research associates fiberglass with cancer in humans. Additionally, a 2000 study by the US National Academy of Sciences and other health organizations found no link between fiberglass exposure and lung cancer.

But fiberglass can irritate your nose, eyes, lungs, and skin. Use proper PPE when handling the material or working near it for an extended period. The wearables include goggles, loose-fitting, long-legged, long-sleeved clothing, gloves, and a dust mask.

2. Homes Don’t Need Insulation in Summer

Many people assume insulation is only helpful during winter. The truth is proper insulation keeps your home comfortable all year round. During summer, it stops heat from penetrating your home. In winter, it prevents warm air from escaping to the outside of your home. Your home gets cozier, and you spend less on energy bills.

By keeping conditioned air indoors, insulation prevents your HVAC units from overworking to keep your home comfortable. This translates into fewer equipment repairs and an extended system lifespan.

3. Home Insulation R-Values Are Ideal

R-value measures thermal resistance. It’s the industry standard for comparing the effectiveness of insulation products. However, R-values are quite unreliable due to the differences between lab figures and insulation’s real-world performance.

Lab analyses assume zero air movement. But some insulation materials (like fiberglass and cellulose) are not as effective at home air sealing. As such, they may perform poorly in spaces with constant air currents.

Consider air-impervious insulation products (like spray foam and rigid foam boards) that insulate almost identically as the lab values. They’re expensive compared to their standard counterparts, but they soon pay for themselves with more cost savings.

Bottom Line

Proper insulation will keep your home cozy and energy-efficient throughout. But you can only reap these benefits if you make informed decisions. Start with dispelling these insulation myths, and you’ll come closer to maximizing your home improvement project’s efficiency–and cost savings.