If you decide to improve your existing home by having some insulation installed in your attic, then the most likely product you will get is a loosely-blown medium, such as cellulose or fiberglass. Cellulose is a more popular option for attic insulation in Toronto, owing to its lower toxicity to humans and pets as it has no asbestos. Moreover, it is the greener option as it comes from recycled newspapers.
Cellulose R-value per inch
Cellulose insulation is a clumpy, thick, and dense material that will cover up the empty places in your attic to slow down the movement of air in and out of your living space via the ceiling. It can come from any plant-based material such as wood or sisal, but commercial cellulose insulation comes primarily from recycled paper, which is why it is regarded as eco-friendly. It is treated with non-toxic borate compounds that impart flame retardant, as well as insect and mold resistance properties, which is a requirement of most states’ building codes.
Cellulose provides an R-value of 3.2-3.8 per inch of thickness. However, you also need to consider the amount of heat your home loses due to cracks, gaps, and holes in the ceiling.
Fiberglass R-value per inch
Fiberglass is made up of about 20-30% recycled glass and comes in rolls or batts of pink or yellow fiberglass. It is quite common as it is used in more than 90% of homes in the US. It is usually chopped up into cubes for blown-in insulation. Loose-fill fiberglass has an R-value of R-2.2-2.7 per inch. You can achieve the desired R-value by layering to achieve better thickness.
The better solution for your home would be cellulose insulation. If you insulated your 1500 square foot home with cellulose, you would have removed over 3 million tonnes of newsprint from the environment. Moreover, cellulose manufacture consumes way less energy compared to fiberglass manufacture. In addition to being less toxic and greener, it also provides superior blockage to cracks and other places where air would leak through. Tightly packed cellulose is a thermally-efficient, inexpensive, and fire-safe solution for a home.