GreenFiber Cocoon Insulation: Energy Efficiency From Recycled Material

GreenFiber Cocoon Insulation: Energy Efficiency From Recycled Material (photo: GreenFiber)
GreenFiber Cocoon Insulation: Energy Efficiency From Recycled Material (photo: GreenFiber)

One of the simplest ways to improve a home’s energy efficiency and comfort is to make sure that it is properly insulated. Cocoon Insulation from North Carolina-based GreenFiber is a highly efficient insulator, offering more convenient installation and higher R-values than common alternatives, as well as utilizing recycled source material.

Cocoon Insulation is a cellulose material derived from 85% recycled paper products, and Greenfiber operates 11 manufacturing plants throughout the U.S. to maximize its use of locally available materials. Cocoon Insulation is non-toxic and contains no fiberglass or asbestos – which avoids exposing users to irritants, and requires no protective clothing or masks for installation.

Cocoon is a blown insulation, allowing much better coverage in tight, hard-to-reach spaces as well as faster installation times. The blown material adheres to any wood, gypsum, metal or concrete surface. GreenFiber states that by creating a better seal, Cocoon Insulation offers up to 26% better performance than other insulating materials with the same R-value. And because it’s up to three times as dense as fiberglass, an 8” layer of Cocoon provides an R-value comparable to 12” of loose fill insulation.

GreenFiber Cocoon Insulation (photo: Captain Planet Foundation)
GreenFiber Cocoon Insulation (photo: Captain Planet Foundation)

GreenFiber’s insulation doesn’t just help maintain temperature. Cocoon is an effective soundproofing treatment as well, effective for use in applications such as a homes near a roadway or airport. And it can significantly improve a structure’s fire resistance as well – Cocoon Insulation is UL-approved for many of the Laboratories’ fire-resistant designs.

Keeping a home comfortable, saving energy, and improving fire safety – and using recycled material to do it. Not bad for a product that most homeowners will never see.

(via GreenFiber & Captain Planet Foundation)

16 thoughts on “GreenFiber Cocoon Insulation: Energy Efficiency From Recycled Material”

  1. At a tradeshow, the wool blow-in guys say their insulation maintains its R-value throughout the humidity range, whereas other materials R-value changes with the humidity level.
    Is that true?
    Does the R-value of the paper-based product change given the humidity level of the outdoor air? or given the acquired humidity level of the product over time?

  2. I am hoping someone can allay worries since I am having roof work done, and it has now rained on my insulation! We blew in the green Cocoon type when we bought the house 6 years ago. It has cut energy bills and made us feel warmer alltogether. Now, it’s wet……It sounds like it is fine on the mold resistance, from what I can tell. However I’m worried about the RU factor of what is now a considerably denser pack of what was originally a fluffy blanket of insulation.

  3. We used cocoon blow-in insulation when we built our home 5 years ago. Yes, you must wear a mask when installing this product. It is very dusty. We only placed it in our attic, used rolled fiberglass for our walls…..My concern is in the fact that we have a VERY dusty house. My computer overheated last summer and the computer expert stated that the dust build up in the computer was “gray” a dust he had never seen before. Around the light sockets, and light fixtures, a fine gray dust exists. If it can build up in my return air vent filter so that I change it sometimes 2 times a month, then it is filling my home with dust, and my family’s lungs with gray dust..Any suggestions for how to keep this dust from “drifting” down from the attic into our home? I would be interested in any suggestions you may have.

    1. I’m about to have blown-in insulation added to my attic, and have reviewed pros and cons of cellulose vs. fiberglass. By logic, it seems either could infiltrate particulates, although fiberglass itself isn’t dusty. (My house is on a slab foundation, with wiring and duct work in the attic.) Any future changes or maintenance will require someone to wade through the insulation. For that reason, I’ll probably add more cellulose. Fiberglass contact with skin or carried on clothing presents its own problems.
      I have been diligent in sealing all parts of my duct and vent system to increase efficiency, and to reduce wear and tear on the system. I found that my home (built in 1977 and occupied by 2 prior families) had a lot of issues missed by my structural inspector. For instance, the plumbing chase (access to pipes between 2 bathrooms) was never enclosed…open from the attic to the foundation! Also, the soffits above my kitchen were open, leaving gaps to spaces between studs. Some of the old duct tape had dried and loosened, all of the electric boxes for ceiling lighting had small open spaces, and one duct had completely come loose from the vent. In checking where all the vents were mounted in the attic, I discovered gaps under the metal edge flanges. There were also voids along the edges of the sheet metal enclosing the cold air returns! While I have some existing cellulose insulation (not enough) , and a whole house air cleaner attached to my furnace/air-handler, I also have lots of dust. I suspect when all of these flaws are corrected prior to adding more insulation, it will greatly reduce any dust. Obviously I’ll also have much improved efficiency overall. I urge you to put on a mask, use adequate light, and inspect all your duct & vent connections, as well as any other possible places for leaks. Be sure there is some fiberglass batting around your wall outlets and receptacles (behind/surrounding the boxes), and use the thin foam insulating sheets behind the wall covers of your receptacles and switchplates. While I’ve completed some of the “repairs” myself, I am having my insulation contractor tackle a good deal of it. He has commercial products which will perform better for some of the applications. If your ducts are in a basement, the task becomes easier. Of course a crawl space has its own challenges. Hope this helps. Possibly an energy audit might help pinpoint some problem areas. Good luck.

  4. Any time you’re going to be around a large amount of particulates suspended in the air, it isn’t a bad idea to wear a mask. Even though the material itself isn’t toxic, exposing yourself to it in large amounts in a confined space for long periods of time can give you problems, causing fluid buildup in your lungs and other irritating and potentially dangerous conditions. Think about it like this: you can immerse yourself in pure water and it isn’t toxic at all, but without some method of breathing you’re not going to want to stay under very long or you’ll die.

    We just blew this stuff into my attic and it does tend to end up getting all over the place, but it doesn’t seemn toxic (no weird smells, no dead animals or children).

  5. I bought a house in Raleigh in Nov.2008 and they used this product in it. It has a great noise reduction quality as my townhouse has neighbors on both sides both with kids and one with a huge surround sound system and I rarely even hear anything from them. Green Fiber also has a website where they build test structures and then burn them to the ground. The first is one with no insulation and it burns to collapse very quickly, the second is one with bat insulation and takes mush longer to collapse, and the 3rd is one with green fiber which stays standing for quite a bit longer. Another advantage to this product over blown insullation is that it has been rated not to settle (a common problem with blown insulation in walls where over time the fibers compress leaving the upper portion of the wall uninsulated).

  6. You should always wear a mask when blowing insulation; irregardless of what it is made from. Any airboarn particulates can cause irritation to the sinuses and lungs.
    I’ve heard of people with respitory problems from working in cotton mills.
    To make it fire resistant it is treated with a chemical; I don’t remember what but they have been doing this with blown in cellulose insulation for years.

  7. Good question D Puetz –

    According the GreenFiber website:
    GreenFiber Cocoon Insulation is listed/regulated by OSHA, Cal/OSHA, and ACGIH as “Particulates Not Otherwise Classified” or “Nuisance Dust.”

    Therefore, installers may choose to wear a mask if the environment is generally dusty, but the insulation doesn’t contain any substances that require specific protective apparel.

  8. Right below your statement: “Cocoon Insulation is non-toxic and contains no fiberglass or asbestos – which avoids exposing users to irritants, and requires no protective clothing or masks for installation.” is a picture of an installer wearing a protective mask… which do we believe ???? The statement or the picture?

    1. he’s wearing a mask because green fiber is the blow in type insulation so obviously there will be dust particle in the air no matter what material you are using. That doesn’t mean that the material is harmful. The material is totally safe and what they say it is. I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t want to choke on the dust either you dummy!

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