Applegate Insulation

Technical Pages

ACH and HVAC sizing

Adding Applegate cellulose insulation to a new or existing home is an investment which saves energy month after month and year after year; and Applegate is in the optimum range of performance vs. price. While some foams may provide a higher R-Value per inch, it comes at an astronomical environmental and economic price, taking years longer to pay for itself. Using Applegate Cellulose Insulation in new construction may not cost the owner anything, as they may be able to use a smaller and thus cheaper Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system. This is due to Applegate reducing the heating and cooling demands placed on the HVAC system.


As the outside air comes into a home and the air inside a home goes outside - moisture, pollutants and temperature go with the air. By restricting the air flow through walls and attics, Applegate Insulation reduces the demands placed on your HVAC system. Allowing it to cycle less often and run more efficiently.


A good illustration is the difference in miles per gallon your car gets in highway and city driving. A car gets better millage on highways because there are less starts and stops - it takes a lot of energy to get a car or HVAC unit going from a stopped position. In a well-insulated home, a smaller properly sized HVAC unit may run longer per cycle  than a bigger unit, but like a car on a highway it uses less energy over the course of a day.   


A 2005 study by Bruce Harley, technical director for residential energy services for the Conservation Services Group in Westborough, MA, examined Energy Star Homes (single and multi-family) completed in MA and RI during 2004 and found that the cellulose insulated homes were generally tighter than fiberglass insulated homes.


Houses separated by Wall Insulation Type                     – Average Air Tightness
Houses with Fiberglass-insulated walls (684 houses)                 0.38 ACH nat
Houses with Cellulose-insulated walls (182 houses)                   0.31 ACH nat


Houses separated by Ceiling / Roof Insulation Type       – Average Air Tightness
Houses with Fiberglass-insulated ceilings / roofs (466 houses)   0.4 ACH nat
Houses with Cellulose-insulated ceilings / roofs (192 houses)     0.3 ACH nat


For sizing HVAC equipment in new construction, Applegate Insulation recommends using 5 ACH at 50 Pascal or 0.35 natural ACH when walls and attics are insulated with Applegate cellulose insulation according to installation instructions and building code. Of course air-tightness depends on many additional factors such as the number of and attention to detail when installing doors, windows, exhaust fans, can lights, plumbing and electrical penetrations, etc.; the recommended ACH rates are fairly typical of what is achieved in new construction and can often be beaten by attentive contractors.

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Comparison of Applegate Cellulose Insulation to fiberglass insulation

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How Applegate Insulation's installation method can make a world of difference AKA: The Spray-In Insulation System

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