Fiberglass Insulation Wears Pink Underwear

This morning, I got another look at the home my wife and I are about to buy, only this time I was joined by my friend Stephen Tomb, a green builder and owner of Winterberry Farm Builders in North Creek, NY, as well as a local green builder.  As expected there was a lot of head shaking and a far too many “uh-oh’s” for such a young house.  I’ll reiterate: the house is solidly built, but not well-built.  Once again, the culprit is fiberglass insulation.

Before I continue, I want to discuss the big bad “uh-oh” about fiberglass.   Already I have discussed the fact that the R-Value of fiberglass insulation steadily declines as it ages, but here’s the worst of it, and I should here a million voices screaming the S-O-B anthem any moment: the R-value of fiberglass insulation, even freshly installed fiberglass batts, immediately drops off as the air temperature drops.  That’s right, the fiberglass  R-factor drops to its knees like a penitent choir boy when it is asked to do its job.  You expect your insulation to perform, especially when it’s cold, but instead it does the opposite and gets weaker.  On a cold day, you’re lucky to get better than R-5 out of your fiberglass batts.  Makes you wonder why contractors keep sticking something so useless in your house and making you pay for it.  I could get a research grant to answer that one.

If you want to insulate with batt insulation, and you want a product that performs when it is supposed to, go with Ultra Touch recycled denim insulation. ( ) Unlike fiberglass insulation, the R-Value of Ultra Touch does not diminish over time when installed properly.  As well, the R-value of Ultra Touch insulation remains stable, regardless of the outside or inside air temperature.

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