Pricewise Insulation often receives enquiries about whether polyester insulation is better than glasswool. Both polyester and glasswool (also called fibreglass) insulation are highly recommended products and very effective in reducing heat transfer. They are both safe products to install and handle. Customers enquiring about the different types may have noticed a difference in price and wondered if it’s beneficial to go with the more expensive Autex Greenstuf. The truth is, both kinds of insulation have their merits and it really comes down to the individual needs of the customer.
Comfort of Handling
Polyester is typically more expensive but has two attributes which arguably could cause it to be considered a ‘premium’ insulation product. Polyester insulation has practically speaking no breathable fibres, and as such may be favoured by people suffering from asthma or severe dust intolerance. It is also completely ‘itch free’ to handle and install, whereas most people experience at least a minor temporary itch e.g. on their wrists after handling glasswool insulation for a few hours.
Glasswool Much Improved in Recent Times
It is important to note, however, that the glasswool insulation of today is very different to the stuff that was sold on the market a few decades ago. The installers of those days would recall extreme discomfort, whereas the glasswool insulation today, particularly Knauf’s Earthwool, is much more pleasant to handle.
Higher Compression Properties with Glasswool
Most glasswool insulation has a much higher compression factor than polyester insulation. This may give it an advantage from a delivery and storage point of view. Customers may be able to fit the required amount of glasswool insulation in the back of their car or ute but be unable to fit the equivalent number of bags of polyester insulation. Opting for the glasswool insulation may save them an extra trip back to the warehouse or the cost of having it delivered. If onsite storage is an issue, it may be better to purchase glasswool insulation.
Consistent R-Value Regardless of the Material
Neither polyester or glasswool insulation will outdo the other in performance. Glasswool insulation is the cheaper option, but it performs just as well as its polyester equivalent. R-value is a measure of how effective the insulation is at resisting heat transfer, regardless of what it is made out of.