Insulation is one of the most important investments a homeowner can make and can increase the overall value of your home.
Walls and attic insulation is critical to shield a home from outdoor elements, protect against sound, and create an energy-efficient home. Insulation can also be an important firefighting measure in case of a spark.
We know that insulation is important for your home, but not all insulation is created equally. This article will discuss the difference between loosely packed vs. tightly packed insulation and which is better.
What Is Loosely Packed Insulation?
Loosely packed insulation is an insulation that fills in a space with little or no packing. Insulation is strategically placed to fill the cavity, but it is not densely packed. Loosely packed insulation is very common in attic and wall insulation.
What Is Tightly Packed Insulation?
Tightly packed insulation is an insulation that is densely applied in a cavity. Instead of strategically placing insulation in a wall or attic cavity, the insulation is packed in using force. Unlike loosely packed insulation, there is little to no air space in tightly packed insulation.
Benefits of Loosely Packed Insulation
Loosely packed insulation is generally less expensive than tightly packed simply because it requires less insulation material. Tightly packing insulation into a space necessarily requires more materials and incurs an additional cost.
Loosely packed insulation can also be better for sound control. Sound is absorbed through air pockets in insulation. Loosely packed insulation has lots of air pockets for sound to go into, whereas tightly packed insulation does not. Loosely packed insulation can also be easier to replace and repair.
Benefits of Tightly Packed Insulation
Tightly packed insulation can reduce the chances of leaks and dead space. The process of installing the insulation using force makes it more likely that all cracks and holes are covered, even if they are not visible. Tightly packed insulation can also be more effective in temperature control, as hot or cold air has more insulation to travel through before reaching the inside of a structure.
Tightly packed insulation also allows more room for error during the installation process. Loosely packed insulation must be placed very strategically to account for all cracks and crevices, whereas tightly packed insulation is likely to cover the entire area as a default because of the application process.
Which Type of Insulation Is Better?
As with most aspects of a home, the right insulation type depends on your needs, budget, and type of home.
Generally, loosely packed insulation is more common because it is affordable, effective, and will work with most home types. Loosely packed insulation can keep your home warm or cool, improve your home’s energy efficiency, and protect against sound.
However, some homes with unique shapes or temperature needs may benefit from tightly packed insulation. Some homes, particularly older homes, were constructed with unique attic shapes and structures, so loosely packed may not be a good option.
Consult an Attic Insulation Specialist for Your Home
When it comes to selecting attic insulation for your home, the best thing you can do is consult a specialist. It can be tempting to insulate your attic as a DIY project, but insulation installation is a skilled job that requires knowledge and experience.
In addition, it may not be possible to install insulation without first completing remediation services that can only be done by a professional. An insulation specialist can do an assessment of your attic and make an honest recommendation on the type of insulation that will work best for your home.
Insulation is a good long-term investment, so you want to make sure you are selecting an option that meets your home’s needs.