Best Eco-friendly Insulation Materials for Homes
You may never have considered it, but some roof insulation is more eco-friendly than others. In recent years, there has been a push to choose environmentally friendly alternatives in all aspects of our lives. Below is a list of eco-friendly insulation materials, as well as why you should choose them.
Why you should choose eco-friendly insulation?
- Safe and sustainable materials
Eco-friendly materials, like cotton and wool, are sustainable materials. Cotton can be grown and sheep can be raised to harvest wool from. This can lessen your overall carbon footprint because less energy and resources are required to make these kinds of insulation than synthetic alternatives. They can be also recycled and biodegrade.
Additionally, cotton and wool do not irritate skin or allergies like fiberglass and other synthetic materials. They are a great choice for hypoallergenic households.
- Less energy and time
Insulation materials like wool, cork and shredded denim require less energy and time to produce. Denim, for instance, is a recycled material. Saving energy means a reduction in negative impacts to the environment, like greenhouses gases brought about by manufacturing processes.
Kinds of eco-friendly insulation:
Wool has long been used in clothing and blankets to keep us warm. In the same way, it can be used as effective ceiling insulation. The material works just the same for our homes as it does when we wear woollen clothes.
The compressed wool fibers trap air to keep us cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The material’s inner layers also absorb moisture without getting damp or affecting its ability to retain heat. With these natural properties, your home should have a fairly even temperature regardless of the weather outside.
Eco-friendly insulation doesn’t always have to be naturally produced. In 1931, Samuel Stephens Kistler created aerogel, a material comprising of 90% air. It is made when silica is put under high pressure and temperature and the fluid is removed.
You can purchase aerogel in sheets or stickers, which makes it easy to install.
The clothing industry produced a lot of scrap waste. Now leftover denim can get turned into insulation. Denim insulation is a way to recycle a material for a new use.
The material is folded into batts, like fiberglass, and is an effective insulator. However, in comparison to fiberglass, denim doesn’t contain formaldehyde, which can pose health risks.
Cork is made from the outer bark of cork oak trees. It is natural, sustainable, recyclable and biodegradable. Once created, the completed item has a negative carbon footprint. It is the only insulation to have this.
Cork also lasts longer than most other wall and roof insulation choices. Additionally, it’s hypoallergic and free from toxins.
Cellulose insulation is made up of recycled newspaper and other different sorts of paper that biodegrade. If all the paper put into landfill was used for creating cellulose insulation, it would reduce CO2 emissionsby millions of tonnes.
Icynene insulation is made from petroleum-based plastics. It is a spray foam insulation. When sprayed, it can grow up to 100 times bigger.
The material is extraordinary at sealing holes and stopping drafts, and also is used to help reduce noise when installed as wall and ceiling insulation.
Why is insulation so important?
Good insulation can significantly reduce the cost of your heating and cooling bills. Effective insulation should keep your home at a comfortable temperature, whether it is hot or cold outside.
Insulation works by controlling the movement of heat inside your home. Heat will move from higher to lower temperature areas until the temperature is even in both places. This is called heat transfer. Insulation limits heat transfer.
So, when it’s cold outside in winter, the heat from your home wants to go outside. However, insulation stops this from happening. The reverse happens in summer. It’s hot outside but the heat does not get in through the insulation.
How is insulation measured?
All insulation has an R-value. This R-value measures how effective the insulation is. This effectiveness is determined by how good it is at stopping heat transfer. Sometimes this is called thermal resistance.
When you’re choosing insulation for your home, don’t be tricked by the thickness of the insulation or what type it is. Pay attention to the R-value. The higher the R-value is, the better the insulation is at stopping heat transfer.
The R-value is expressed as a number per inch of the material’s thickness. So, the R-value of wool is 3.5 to 3.8 per inch. This is up to 0.6 higher than fiberglass. If you’re building a house or renovating, consider using an eco-friendly insulation. They are just as effective, if not more so, than other insulation. You can also have peace of mind that you are making a sustainable and environmentally friendly choice. Eco-friendly insulation is a great way to reduce the overall carbon footprint of your house.