By its very nature, insulation is a green product. It reduces the amount of energy needed to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. Of course, some products used for insulation are more eco-friendly than others. When it comes to the most commonly used insulation product, fiberglass batting, the energy required to manufacture it makes it considerably less green than other materials. Before adding more fiberglass to your attic, or using it when building your home, consider the alternatives that will use up to 10 times less energy to make.
Cellulose insulation is made of 80 percent recycled paper products and then has 20 percent non-toxic chemical compounds added to make it flame resistant, repel insects and rodents, and prohibit the growth of mold should it get wet. In addition, it has a higher R rating than fiberglass, with an R-3 or 4 compared to fiberglass’ R-2, and uses less energy to manufacture.
Cotton insulation is 85 percent recycled cotton. It is treated with boric acid to make it flame and insect resistant. If the insulation is ever replaced, or the building demolished, the cotton can be recycled and used again. It has roughly the same R rating as fiberglass batting, and does not use the same amount of energy that fiberglass uses for production. As an added eco-friendly benefit, the manufacture of cotton insulation keeps about 200 tons of cotton from ending up in a landfill each month.
Sheep’s wool insulation is comprised of roughly 90 percent wool and 10 percent recycled polyester adhesive. Although it is naturally flame resistant, boric acid may be added to increase this feature. An added benefit is its ability to retain liquids to keep any water from damaging surrounding wood or drywall. While it may not have the R rating of other alternatives or fiberglass, it is easily compressed, so you can add another layer of batting or blow in more and make it tighter.
Natural, renewable products that can be used to insulate your home are not only better for the environment, but also a healthier choice for your family. No toxic fumes can escape into the air in your home and touching them does not create tiny cuts or cause you to itch and scratch yourself. If you are truly concerned about the environment, using eco-friendly materials in your home is a great way to help. Don’t just go with the popular choice and use fiberglass for your insulation, there are better alternatives. (For more information, contact Dewar Western Inc)