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Insulation Comparison Chart

Performance, Installation, Health & Safety, and Green Factor

Type of Material Fiberglass Mineral Fiber Spray Foam Cellulose (borate treated)
Characteristic Batt or Loose Fill Batt (Roxul AFB) Open Cell Closed Cell Dense Pack Loose Fill
PERFORMANCE
R-Value per inch 3.2 rated* 4.1 3.6 6.5 3.6 3.8
Air Permeance allows free air flow air inhibiting yes (min 2") air barrier air barrier air resistive
Moisture Absorbtion negligable negligable negligable none very high (hygroscopic)
Vapor Permeance allows airborne moisture migration permeable impermeable highly permeable
Sound Attenuation negligable very good good excellent
INSTALLATION
Fills voids and gaps difficult difficult yes yes yes**
Settles no no no no yes 10%
HEALTH & SAFETY
Fire Characteristics melts fire rated supports combustion Class "A" fire rated
Flame Spread low negligable low negligable
Smoke Development low negligable very high negligable
Mold Characteristics some fungicide negligable no protection EPA approved fungicide
Pest/Vermin Resistance none   none highly effective
VOC Emissions formaldehyde negligable negligable when cured highly effective
"GREEN" FACTOR"
Recycled Content up to 20% high none none 82% 82%
Renewable Resource no no no no yes yes
Installation Waste some some insignificant none none none
Embodied Energy (Btu/Lb) 3,000 3,000 20,000 22000 750 750
             
* Due to air circulation and natural convection, the R-value of fiberglass decreases by 50% from 45° to 18° F.    
** Loose fill is not a proper installation method for cellulose in closed cavities, dense pack recomended.    

Source information can be found HERE at the U.S. Department of Energy web site.