What Is Cellulose Attic Insulation?

Article Details
  • Written By: B. Turner
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 14 September 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article

Cellulose attic insulation is a type of loose fill material made from strips of recycled newspaper. This material can be blown or poured into the floor of an attic to improve thermal resistance between the attic and the living areas below. Cellulose insulation can be added to the floor of an unfinished attic or cathedral ceiling space, or even inserted through holes cut in finished walls or ceiling spaces. It is an economical and energy-efficient alternative to traditional insulating materials, such as fiberglass batts and foam boards.

While it is possible for handy homeowners to install cellulose attic insulation by themselves, this work is often performed by skilled installers. This material is blown in place using a special machine, which can be rented at many home improvement stores. Installers pour cellulose material into a hopper connected to the machine, then use a large hose to direct it onto the floor of the attic. Generally, it is easier to install cellulose attic insulation from below by inserting the end of the hose through an attic door or hatch. When placing this material into a finished space, installers must first cut holes in the wall or ceiling to accommodate the nozzle of the hose.


There are several important things to remember when installing cellulose attic insulation. First, it should never be placed directly against a stove, furnace, flue or chimney. The heat from these objects could cause the cellulose to ignite or smolder. Next, installers should be careful to keep cellulose attic insulation away from all exhaust vents in the attic, including those tucked into the eaves of the home. Finally, most building codes require that this insulation is kept some distance away from light fixtures and electrical boxes in the wall or ceiling.

The primary advantage to cellulose attic insulation is its low cost compared to other types of insulating materials. Even though it costs less, it is still just as effective as many alternative products. Given that cellulose attic insulation is made from recycled materials, many people consider it to be eco-friendly. Like all insulation, cellulose products improve energy efficiency so homeowners can maximize comfort and keep heating and cooling costs to a minimum.

A potential drawback to this material is that it can be surprisingly difficult to install properly. Skilled installers make adjustments as they work to ensure adequate coverage. Cellulose insulation also tends to settle over time, which can reduce its effectiveness. Finally, this material may pose a fire risk unless treated with flame-resistant chemicals.



Discuss this Article

Post your comments

Post Anonymously


forgot password?