Made primarily from recycled newspapers, cellulose insulation is an excellent option for those who are seeking a green insulation choice. Cellulose insulation is also made from corncobs, sisal, cardboard, and office paper, although newspapers are the most frequently used material. Tried and true, it has been around since the 1950s and has many benefits for homeowners. Following are six advantages to selecting cellulose insulation.


Cellulose insulation is one of the least expensive insulation options available. Besides being relatively cheap to buy and install, it offers long term cost savings because it lasts for years. You also may be eligible for federal tax rebates or credits as well as qualify for incentives from your local utility company.

These things change constantly, so be certain to check for the most up-to-date information available. You can access a nationwide data base that provides information on incentives, rebates, and policies by state here.


Cellulose insulation is an extremely flexible material that makes it particularly valuable for fitting around items in wall interiors such as pipes and wiring. This type of insulation can be densely packed to minimize air pockets, providing maximum protection from energy-stealing drafts.

It can also be added to existing insulation by drilling a hole in the wall and having blown-in insulation installed. This is also an excellent option for insulating hard-to-reach places, and because it can be applied by blowing it in using specialty machines with long hoses, its installation does not involve the temporary removal of walls.

Fire Resistance

You probably wouldn't associate insulation that's made from burnable materials such as newspaper with fire resistance, but modern cellulose insulation is treated with borate, giving it the highest possible fire safety rating. During the its early years in the 50s and 60s, cellulose insulation received a bad rap for being a fire hazard, but modern treatments have completely eliminated that hazard.

With a Class 1 fire safety rating, cellulose insulation can help reduce the speed of the spread of household flames. Some cellulose insulation is further treated with other fire retardants such as ammonium sulphate along with borate.

Sound Insulation

Cellulose insulation is also an effective sound reduction material, making it an ideal insulation material in neighborhoods with high population densities, those located near high traffic areas, or those close to airports or train stations. It also reduces the travel of sound waves within the structure itself, which makes it a good insulation option for multifamily residences or homes with large, active families.

Mold Resistance

Besides providing the best fire protection possible, cellulose insulation that is treated with borate is also highly resistant to mold. This is particularly important in homes that are located in areas that experience high levels of atmospheric humidity. The presence of borates prevents mold from forming in cellulose insulation even when it becomes wet or damp, making it a great choice for households where one or more members experience allergies to mold spores.

Enhanced Rodent Protection

One thing that no one likes to think about is the fact that rodents often access insulation to build their nests. However, rodents can cause significant damage once they set up shop in the interiors of your walls.

They can create household fire hazards by chewing on insulation and cause potential health issues by urinating and defecating on insulation, particularly if this occurs near air ducts where dried fecal material can be blown into the home interior via the heating or cooling system. Fortunately, the borates that provide protection from fire and mold also act as a repellent to opportunistic rodents. Densely packed insulation is most effective at keeping rodents out.