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Difference Between Batt & Blown-In Insulation

Quality insulation can have a significant effect on your air conditioning and heating costs, as well as your comfort and air quality.

If you’re installing or upgrading the insulation in your Sacramento home, choosing between batt or blown-in insulation can be challenging. Though they serve similar purposes, each has different performance specifications and preferred applications.

What Is Batt Insulation?

Fiberglass batts are the most common form of batt insulation. They are made from layers of thin glass fibers formed into a thick blanket and sized to fit snugly between studs, rafters or joists. A kraft paper facing can be added to act as a vapor barrier.

Fiberglass batts offer good thermal performance and are an economical way to insulate a home. They can be added to walls, ceilings and floors before the finished surfaces like drywall are installed, or they can be added to attics, crawl spaces, basements or garages at any time.

Other types of batt insulation include mineral wool, made from spun rock fibers, and denim batts, made from recycled cotton fibers.

What Is Blown-In Insulation?

Blown-in insulation comes in two common forms: Fiberglass and cellulose. Blown-in fiberglass is made of loose glass fibers, while cellulose insulation is made primarily from recycled newspaper treated to resist moisture, mold and pest damage.

Blown-in insulation is installed using a specialized machine that uses air to blow the insulation into place through a hose. It can be used to add more insulation in attics and to insulate finished walls, ceilings and floors with minimal damage in retrofit applications, by blowing it through small openings drilled between framing members.

With plastic sheeting or other support, it can also be added to walls and other areas in new construction homes.

Insulation R-Value

The performance of an insulation material is expressed by its R-value, or resistance to the flow of heat. Higher R-values indicate better performance. Here are the approximate ratings for some of the most common types of insulation per inch of installed thickness:

  • Fiberglass batts: R-2.9 to R-4.3 per inch
  • Mineral wool batts: R-3.1 to R-3.4 per inch
  • Denim batts: R-3.0 to R-4.0 per inch
  • Blown-in fiberglass: R-2.2 to R-3.1 per inch
  • Blown-in cellulose: R-3.2 to R-3.7 per inch
  • Open-cell spray foam: R-3.5 to R-4.0 per inch
  • Closed-cell spray foam: R-5.5 to R-6.5 per inch
  • Rigid foam boards: R-3.8 to R-8.0 per inch

Pros & Cons of Batt Insulation

Batt insulation is widely available and offers several benefits for California homeowners:

  • Low cost for its R-value and performance specifications
  • Easy, fast installation in attics or unfinished spaces
  • Fits snugly between framing members
  • Good thermal performance
  • Optional vapor barrier for air sealing
  • No special equipment required for installation

Compared to blown-in insulation, batt insulation is more difficult to install in finished spaces and does not perform as well for air sealing or noise reduction.

Pros & Cons of Blown-In Insulation

Blown-in insulation is ideal for retrofits or re-insulation, and it offers the following benefits:

  • Can be installed in finished walls and ceilings
  • Offers great thermal performance and air sealing
  • Reduces sound transmission
  • Cellulose insulation is made from recycled materials
  • Similar R-values to batt insulation

Blown-in insulation does require specialized equipment to install, it can settle over time, and it is more difficult to install in walls or other vertical spaces.

Quality Fiberglass & Cellulose Insulation in Sacramento, CA

No matter your application, when you need quality insulation for your Sacramento home, turn to our team at Gold Star Insulation. We offer batt insulation, blown-in insulation, spray foam and more, all professionally installed by our experts for the highest performance and efficiency.

We can recommend the best insulation products for each area of your home. Our company is BPI certified, we have an A+ rating from the BBB, and as a member of the Installed Building Products Family of Companies, we have the support of the country’s second-largest insulation installer.

Call (916) 229-8445 today or contact us online to request a quote for blown-in or batt insulation in the Sacramento area.

Where should you insulate in your home? Check out our interactive infographic:

Products We Install
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Energy Audits

Our team can help you save money with a home energy audit and air sealing services.

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Fiberglass

Our insulation team installs batt and blown-in fiberglass insulation.

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Cellulose

Environmentally friendly and effective, cellulose works well in homes and buildings.

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Spray Foam

Gold Star Insulation is a leading installer of spray foam insulation in the Sacramento area.

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Radiant Barrier

An attic radiant barrier can help keep your home cooler and more comfortable.

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Insulation Removal

Gold Star Insulation provides home insulation removal services.

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Air Sealing

We are committed to saving you money by sealing your attic—which is the main source of air leaks in the home.

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