Good insulation is a crucial part of any home, as it’s one of the keys to maintaining a comfortable and even temperature throughout your home’s interiors. However, like other construction and building materials, there are many types of insulation material options you can choose from, and each has pros and cons.
Suppose you’re looking for home insulation that can help lessen your reliance on artificial cooling and heating and minimize your carbon footprint. In that case, eco-friendly insulation can be your best bet. Also referred to as green insulation, eco-friendly insulation doesn’t contain additives and chemical fire retardants, making it a safer alternative for you and your home’s needs.
Types Of Eco-Friendly Insulation
Investing in eco-friendly insulation can be one of the ways you can make your home more efficient. Aside from aiding in regulating your home’s temperature, such sustainable materials also allow you to care for the environment.
To help you start your sustainable home journey, it’s essential to know your various options in the market first. By doing so, you can gain better insights into which material will suit your home best. Your options include the following:
- Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs)
SIPs are engineered panels designed to construct floors, ceilings, and walls. Compared to the traditional insulation materials, SIPs for contractors are more energy-efficient, extremely durable, and strong.
Typically, SIPs consist of foam insulation layers between structural surfaces or oriented strand board (OBS). Such panels are manufactured in different dimensions or sizes, and can also be manufactured in bigger sizes for custom projects.
- Cork Insulation
Cork insulation is generally made from cork granules. These are steam-heated to activate suberin, the cork’s natural binding material, and expand. Perhaps this is why no other chemicals or binders are added to the cork.
One of the advantages of cork insulation is that it’s hypoallergenic. It reduces thermal bridging and prevents mold from growing. Cork offers good insulation and could help lessen the amount of heat leaking out and into your home.
Like foam board insulation, cork insulation can also be relatively easy to install. With that in mind, it is essential to note that when installing this home insulation type, you should avoid leaving gaps between the boards. Once you leave such seams open, your house may have more air movement, thus requiring more layers of cork insulation. To avoid this, you may use caulk or tape.
- Sheep’s Wool Insulation
Aside from being a sustainable natural resource, sheep’s wool is considered to be an excellent material for your home’s interior wall insulation since it’s made from breathable natural fibers, making it very efficient in releasing and absorbing moisture while remaining dry.
Sheep’s wool insulation is also produced in sheet forms, which have the same uses and applications as mineral wool insulation. In terms of its thermal conductivity, it’s comparable to mineral wool insulation but with extra benefits. The keratin that wool is made from may neutralize and react to indoor air pollutants like formaldehyde, which can boost your home’s indoor air quality.
- Cellulose Insulation
Using reclaimed and recycled building materials can go a long way in practicing sustainability in your home. And one way you can incorporate such material at home is by using cellulose insulation. Essentially, this is loose insulation made from recycled paper content. Often, it’s sourced from cardboard boxes, shredded recycled paper, and other discarded waste paper products.
One of the advantages of cellulose insulation is that it doesn’t need an additional moisture barrier. This is essential since a vapor barrier is critical for frigid climates and regions with strict building codes. This feature helps lessen the overall installation costs, making cellulose one of the cost-competitive options when renovating under-insulated homes.
Another advantage of cellulose insulation is that you may install it in various thickness applications. It can fit well in tight spaces between electrical wires, walls, and ductwork.
- Hemp Insulation
Another eco-friendly insulation material you can use at home is hemp wool. Basically, hemp wool is manufactured from the woody and strong fibers of the hemp plants. Hemp insulation can make for a good substitute for fiberglass and foam. And considering it’s produced from hemp plants, they have less impact on the environment.
Besides its durability, it has great insulative properties and is extremely robust, making it a breathable and fully resistant insulation material. Hemp insulation may also help regulate thermal performance and has low conductivity and high thermal mass.
In addition, hemp may also work as a condensation filter, dissipating the moisture as it moves through the products. Hemp can also absorb condensation, controlling your home’s humidity level. Depending on your preferences, you may use hemp insulation for exterior and inner walls, attics, and ceilings. But to its higher density, you may use it as your property’s external wall insulation before the siding insulation.
- Cotton Or Denim Insulation
Denim insulation, also called cotton insulation, comprises recyclable denim, which is often scraps from clothing manufacturing companies. Some portions of denim insulation are plastic that has been treated with boric acid, making it flame-retardant. Aside from being eco-friendly, the process also makes the denim insulation resistant to mildew, pests, and insects.
Unlike other eco-friendly insulation, cotton or denim insulation tends to be more affordable and has a low carbon footprint because denim recycling isn’t energy-intensive. Although it has lower thermal conductivity, it’s still an excellent choice for people searching for green insulation options.
What To Consider When Choosing The Best Eco-Friendly Insulation For Your Home
The type of eco-insulation you choose may vary depending on some factors, including where you live. For example, if you live in warmer regions, you’ll require lower R-values than those in colder areas.
When it comes to insulation, R-value is used to measure the insulating material’s thermal resistance. A high insulation R-value means that the material can resist heat transfer better, keeping more heat out or in your home and reducing heat loss. To know what R-value is ideal for your needs, check your local government’s recommended R-value for every home in your area.
Aside from the R-value of the insulation material, you also need to factor in how much you’re willing to shell out for your home’s insulation needs. With a specific budget in mind, you can narrow your choices better while also minimizing the chances of spending more than you intend to.
Benefits Of Eco-Friendly Insulation
As noted earlier, insulating your house with eco-friendly materials is one of the best things you can do to lessen the carbon footprint and reduce waste. For one, eco-friendly insulation products don’t consume a significant amount of energy to be manufactured. They are often recyclable materials with insulating capacity that can help minimize energy consumption from non-green and nonrenewable resources.
Furthermore, here are other notable benefits of installing eco-friendly insulation at home:
- Health Benefits
Since eco-friendly insulation materials don’t contain toxic materials, they’re safe for your general health. They can also help in controlling your indoor environment, combating excess condensation and moisture build-up. Also, eco-friendly insulation isn’t a perfect environment for mildew and mold to flourish, which can help increase your indoor air quality.
Eco-friendly insulation has a high insulating capacity that can aid in preserving your home’s energy. Note that the higher the thermal resistance value, the easier it can be to control the indoor temperature. Once energy isn’t wasted and preserved, your heating and cooling system may be required to work less. This does only help reduce energy consumption and lower your utility bills but also aids in prolonging the life of your HVAC system. This can go a long way in minimizing costly repairs to your home’s cooling system down the road.
- Low Manufacturing Costs
Several types of eco-friendly insulation require less energy to be manufactured compared to some traditional insulating materials. This embodied energy translates into manufacturing costs, which are minimized when creating eco-friendly insulators. Low production energy means fewer pollutants and gases released into the atmosphere.
- Improve Comfort
The radiant heat exchange between the environment and your body can greatly affect your sense of comfort. Effective eco-friendly insulation can provide you and your family with a comfortable living space by reducing sound and controlling temperature. Such insulation materials can help eliminate excess heat, cold, and noise pollution due to their high density.
Eco-friendly insulation materials are made from materials that are designed to resist various external environmental factors. Despite the harsh weather outside, durable and eco-friendly insulation can create a comfortable and cozy living space inside your home.
Why Avoid Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Insulation And Hire A Professional Instead?
Insulation serves countless purposes for your home. As previously mentioned, it doesn’t only help you save money and energy, but it keeps the temperature comfortable and consistent throughout your house. Moreover, it can protect your house from moisture and loud external noises.
To cut it short, insulation plays a crucial role in keeping your home comfortable. Since it’s a vital component of your house, it’s wise to hire a professional to install insulation instead of considering a DIY approach. While you could be inclined to install it on your own to enjoy savings, insulation professionals are more knowledgeable to do the job right, making no room for mistakes.
If you’re still unsure about whether or not to hire a professional, here are some of the reasons why looking for and hiring one can benefit you more:
- Training, Experience, And Knowledge
With insulation experts, you can guarantee professional and proper handling or installation of your preferred eco-friendly insulation material. These professionals are certified and licensed experts aware of the possible dangers of installing insulation.
Professionals also take proper safety measures and know the hazards of electrical fixtures and wiring. So, regardless of the type of eco-friendly insulation you want, you can be sure that experts will help you save money in the long run while keeping your home well-insulated.
Rather than wasting your time and effort figuring out the proper insulation installation process, save yourself from costly mistakes. Instead, focus on searching for the most reliable insulation professional in your area and work with them.
- Ensure High Quality Workmanship
If you’re planning to install insulation by yourself, you’ll likely buy insulation materials and invest in insulation tools or equipment from local hardware stores. Unfortunately, you can’t guarantee that such tools will give you the best quality, and some of them may not be equipped with advanced technology. It won’t only make the installation process more challenging, but it can also waste your money and precious time.
With limited knowledge of how installing insulation works and low-quality tools, you can be prone to making costly mistakes while DIY-ing the job. And so, to avoid mistakes and any inconvenience, hire the best insulation professional. These experts have the knowledge and expertise about the installation procedure and have the right equipment and tools to ensure the proper installation of your chosen eco-friendly insulation.
- Financing Options
Most homeowners prefer DIY insulation because of the associated cost savings. However, in terms of renting out or buying insulation from various home improvement stores, you might not be able to get financing options.
By working with insulation professionals, it’s possible to get financing options such as coupons and discounts. Once you decide to invest in professional insulation, you’ll get well-installed insulation while letting you save money.
Moreover, you may get a return on investment (ROI) over time, making professional insulation installation worth it. So, if you worry about the insulation cost and want to save money wisely, hiring professionals is a better approach than choosing to DIY.
Wrapping It Up
With the different eco-friendly insulation options available in the market, you can guarantee that there’s always a perfect choice fit for your home’s needs. And once you’re ready to install your preferred type of eco-friendly insulation, it’s time to call in the experts.
While installing insulation on your own seems achievable, note that it can be risky. For one, you can risk causing damage to your home when not properly installed, and at the same time, you can also put your safety at risk. With that, it’s crucial to rely on dependable insulation contractors to ensure proper home insulation and get quality service.