Fiberglass has come a long way since it first came out in the 1930s. Now the material is everywhere, and it’s used for boats, swimming pools, fish tanks, basketball backboards, and many other consumer items. Fiberglass is so highly appreciated that even a fiberglass conduit manufacturer is popular in many industries.
But for home owners, fiberglass is perhaps more known for its use in home insulation. There’s no denying its ubiquitous use in insulation, as perhaps up to 90% of homes in the US use fiberglass for home insulation. Almost as soon as fiberglass first came out, it became widely used for this particular purpose.
Insulation remains a crucial issue for many households, as it greatly affects living comfort and HVAC costs. Poor insulation can lead to higher energy expenses, but the better insulation options can help cut down on people’s dependence of HVAC systems working overtime.
What are the reasons why fiberglass has become the undeniable leader for home insulation? Here are the most common reasons:
It’s Extremely Effective
Fiberglass keeps heat from transferring from warm areas to the color spots, which basically describes the function of insulation. The effectiveness of any material for insulation is measured in R-values, and higher R-values denote greater effectiveness. These R-values can’t be falsely claimed by companies, as they’re regulated and monitored by the Federal Trade Commission. For US homes, the minimum recommended R-value is R-13.
Fiberglass has an R-value of 3.2 per each inch of its thickness. To meet the minimum US requirement of R-13, fiberglass can just be 3.5 inches thick. Some walls can have enough space for a 5.5-inch cavity, and the fiberglass that can be installed there can reach R-21.
Some types of fiberglass with medium or high density can reach up to R-38 in insulation values for tight spaces. Fiberglass is moldable and it can fit very into crevices. So it’s often the best choice if you need to fill in small gaps and cracks in your home structure.
Fiberglass is Extremely Strong
Fiberglass is also a very tough material, especially in terms of its weight. It’s not overly affected by the temperature. Fiberglass has an extremely low coefficient of thermal expansion. Even if the temperatures reach extremely high levels, fiberglass remains strong. It doesn’t settle over time. It also doesn’t absorb water, so it’s a great choice for spaces in your home that can have issues with humidity and moisture.
It’s Affordable and Cost-Effective
One of the more obvious reasons for the overwhelming popularity of fiberglass insulation is that it’s very affordable. It may be surprising in light of its effectiveness, but it makes perfect sense considering how fiberglass is produced. It doesn’t cost as much to make fiberglass, compared to natural insulation products and other synthetic ones.
In addition, installation of fiberglass insulation is easier and therefore less costly as well. Part of why it’s easier is that fiberglass can be installed effectively over existing insulation. There’s no need to remove any underlying current insulation for the fiberglass to work properly. Installing fiberglass also doesn’t require using expensive equipment.
Fiberglass insulation can cost only about $0.40 per square foot. In contrast, an alternative like spray foam insulation can cost as much as $3 per square foot. That’s a lot in terms of savings for many home owners.
There’s no denying the effectiveness of fiberglass insulation, and that’s one of the main reasons why it remains a popular option. The other main reason is that it’s also extremely affordable, and that’s a surprising feature in such high quality insulation. Fiberglass insulation is just one of the excellent examples of why fiberglass is a popular manufacturing material in many industries.