Communities | 02.06.2023

Blown-In Insulation vs. Batt Insulation

Some of the biggest costs homeowners face are the power and gas costs associated with heating and cooling their homes. The temperature in Utah fluctuates drastically throughout the year. The daily temperature changes in Utah can have you using the furnace and the air conditioner in the same week — and sometimes, the same day. Fighting off those temperatures to create a comfortable environment in your home will take a lot of energy. Consuming that much power can get expensive.

You can lower your energy costs by reducing the amount of heat and cold entering or exiting your home. Utah home builders know the number one way to protect your home from outside temperatures is by thoroughly insulating the exterior walls and attic. Insulation comes in several varieties. Let’s examine the different types of insulation and the best uses for each based on its properties.

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The 4 Most Common Types of Insulation

Homebuilders typically use four types of insulation. Each has a different installation method and unique characteristics that make them useful for specific situations.

Batt Insulation

Batt insulation is made out of fiberglass or rock wool. It comes in rolls, often with a paper or vinyl backing. The rolls are cut to the widths of the standard stud placement used by builders.

To install batt insulation, you can fit one end between the studs up next to the ceiling and secure it. Then you can push each strip in place as you unroll it, then cut it for length when you reach the floor. Some batt insulation brands have foldable flaps on the sides of the backing. You can unfold these flaps and staple them to the studs to hold the insulation in place.

Batt insulation is among the less expensive insulations, but it needs to fit securely to be effective. Installing batt insulation into oldy-shaped spaces doesn’t work well.

Sometimes batt insulation is called blanket insulation or roll-in insulation.

Foam Insulation

Foam insulation is usually made of polyurethane. It works very well for insulating both temperature and sound. Foam insulation comes in a can. To install it, you spray it out of the can as a liquid. When the liquid polyurethane hits the air, it expands and creates a foam that fills in all the nooks and crannies where air and sound might escape. Then, it dries as a solid.

Spray foam’s ability to expand into hard-to-reach places and seal them off makes it highly effective. Unfortunately, it is also the most expensive kind of insulation. Since it’s so cost-prohibitive, Most Utah home builders use it primarily for insulating areas around plumbing or electrical lines.

Loose-Fill Insulation

Loose-fill insulation is usually made from recycled paper, fiberglass, or rock wool. Loose-fill insulation is similar to batt insulation but doesn’t come in rolls and has no backing. Some brands of loose-fill insulation coat the product with a fire-retardant chemical to reduce its flammability.

When contractors install loose-fill insulation, they blow it into the desired areas using a special machine. Blowing in the loose insulation fibers allows installers to reach many places they couldn’t reach with batt insulation. Its blow-in installation technique also allows the installer to pack in the insulation densely and pile it higher in specific areas.

Loose-fill insulation works well, and the insulation itself is affordable. However, since the installation of loose-fill insulation requires special equipment, most people must hire an insulation installer or contractor to perform the installation. That necessity for professional installation makes loose-fill insulation more expensive to replace.

Homebuilders will often install loose-fill insulation in walls and especially attics during construction. Installing the insulation during construction minimizes the insulation installation costs for the homebuyer.

Sometimes loose-fill insulation is called blown-in insulation.

Reflective Insulation

Reflective insulation is designed to reflect light. By reflecting the light, the home doesn’t absorb the heat the light brings. Reflective insulation can be made from plastic, cardboard, or foil. Reflective insulation sometimes comes as the backing for batt insulation.

Usually, builders use reflective insulation in the attics of homes in areas with hot weather. Reflective insulation works great for reducing heat and keeping a room cooler but won’t have the same effectiveness at keeping an area warm.

Arive Homes uses batt and blown-in insulation.

In most of our Salem Utah home-building projects, we stick to roll-in batt insulation or blown-in loose-fill insulation. Both are cost-friendly and effective for different areas of the home. Plus, we can reduce installation costs because we can install the insulation during construction.

Roll-In Batt Insulation


  • Low-cost
  • Easy to install between studs


  • Less effective than some other insulation
  • Difficult to install in unusually shaped areas

Best For:

Roll-in batt insulation is best used to insulate walls, especially exterior and basement walls.

Blown-In Insulation


  • Low-cost
  • Easy to install anywhere


  • Easily displaced
  • It can contain chemical fire retardants and pest deterrents

Best For:

Blow-In insulation is best used in attics and ceilings. It also works well as an alternative to batt insulation in oddly-shaped spaces.

Other Factors to Consider Before Making Your Choice

Along with cost and installation, read the insulation labels carefully and consider the following factors to help you choose your best insulation option.


The materials used to make many insulations can cause allergic reactions in some people.

Fire Risk

Some insulations are made of flammable materials. Some manufacturers coat their insulation material in chemical fire retardants.


The R-value relates to how well insulation restricts the flow of heat. The higher, the better.


Some insulation dampens sound better than others. Consider your acoustic needs along with your heating and cooling needs.

For Help With Your Home Customizations, Contact Arive Homes

Adding customizations to your home, like an extra room or a detached garage, often requires installing additional insulation. When you’re ready to make these or other customizations to your home, contact Arive Homes. As a premier Utah home builder, we have the experience and expertise to design and build your project on time and on budget. We have a track record of crafting beautiful buildings, like these new homes in Spanish Fork.

Contact Arive Homes for all your Utah home-building needs.