Two Environmentally Friendly Insulation Materials To Consider

Posted on: 25 May 2016

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If you have a home renovation project scheduled that opens up your attic, then now may be the time to invest in new insulation materials. While fiberglass batting and spray foam polyurethane are two of the most common and popular choices available, there are a wide variety of other options that you can pick from. Some of these choices are even environmentally friendly. If you want your house to be as green as possible, then consider the options outlined below.

Sheep Wool Batting

One great alternative to traditional fiberglass batting is sheep wool batting insulation. This material is made from sheep wool that is compressed and adhered to a paper batting. The wool itself is environmentally friendly since it is renewable. The wool hair grown by sheep is shorn once a year, and the removal is often completed for the benefit of the sheep. If the wool is not removed, it will continue to grow and become matted. Also, sheep are often shorn in the spring right before they give birth. This encourages them to seek shelter in wet and cold weather conditions, and this helps to keep the lamb healthy.

A typical sheep will produce between eight and ten pounds of wool each year. The wool is cleaned, combed, and then compressed into sheets. A paper backing is then added to these sheets to create the insulation. The final product will be a thick batting material that contains many small air pockets, and these pockets hold air inside the insulation material. This helps to create a barrier that keeps warm air from escaping during the winter months.

Wool material is considered breathable as well. This means that moisture that comes into contact with the material can easily evaporate. This helps to prevent mold and mildew from forming within the wool fibers. While wool batting is not fire resistant on its own, fire retardant materials are typically added to protect your home from a fire. Check with your insulation installation expert to make sure this is indeed the case before the material is used in your house.

Aerogel

If your previous insulation material allowed a great deal of heat to release through small holes and openings in the house, then heat loss is a specific environmental issue that needs to be addressed. More heat loss means more fuel needs to be burned to keep the home warm, and more greenhouse gasses are then released into the atmosphere. You can reduce your carbon footprint by opting for one of the most efficient insulation materials on the market. Aerogel is one of these materials, and it is a relatively new creation. The material has recently been released on the market and is four times more efficient than traditional insulation materials. 

Aerogel is made out of a plastic material that is not necessarily environmentally friendly. However, 90% of the insulation is actually air. This means that there is very little plastic material in the insulation in the first place. The material is also resistant to water and fire, and it is incredibly thin so it can be placed in small areas where insulation cannot typically be secured. 

Since aerogel is a new product and is highly efficient, it will probably be more expensive than other options. However, the efficiency can save you a great deal on heating and cooling costs. This savings should be considered when deciding whether or not the aerogel is the best insulation option.

If you want to secure new attic insulation during a renovation, then you should think about environmentally friendly options. Sheep wool batting and aerogel are two insulation types to consider. Speak to an installation professional from a company like Mincin Insulation Service Inc. about other green varieties that may be available to you.